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Brough Farm, Steading

A Category C Listed Building in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Coordinates

Latitude: 59.3103 / 59°18'37"N

Longitude: -2.9696 / 2°58'10"W

OS Eastings: 344893

OS Northings: 1047504

OS Grid: HY448475

Mapcode National: GBR M413.SDR

Mapcode Global: XH8KG.M7LW

Entry Name: Brough Farm, Steading

Listing Date: 30 March 2001

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395413

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB47993

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Westray

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Parish: Westray

Traditional County: Orkney

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Description

Later 19th century. Large; single storey, single storey and loft and 2-storey steading built around an E-plan (central range detached from main U-plan block), forming 2 open-sided yards to SE. Retains wheelhouse for water-powered threshing machine (threshing machinery still intact, 2000) to NE range. Coursed rubble, partially harled. Coped gables.

SW ELEVATION: partial loft to SW range (containing stables and byre); steps up to entrance to outer right return (see SE Elevation). 2 windows to outer right.

NE ELEVATION: NE range (containing granary, barn and bothy) built into sloping ground and largely 2-storey. Steps up to 1st floor bothy entrance (boarded timber door) to outer left; ascending to right with base at right angles adjoining SE gable end and small dovecote (2 rows of 4 flight holes/nesting boxes) to outer face. L-plan lean-to (formerly housing water wheel for driving threshing mill) to outer right. Window to left. Entrance to left return. Opening to right return to admit water from adjacent lade (running parallel to range to right). Entrance set back to left. 2 windows to far left of ground floor. Row of 9 small regularly disposed windows to 1st floor.

NW ELEVATION: single storey NE range (containing byre) with rectangular-plan projecting section (with separate gabled roof) to left of centre; 2 large entrances; window in between and outer flanking windows; entrance with boarded timber door to left return. Later rectangular-plan concrete addition (with single pitch roof) adjoins to right. Concrete tank set back to left. Window to outer left of range. Gable end of NE range adjoins to left; large inserted/enlarged entrance with 2-leaf boarded timber door; opening to gable immediately above.

SE ELEVATION: end wall of central range blank; lean-to addition adjoins to left; entrance with window to right. Rectangular-plan yards set back to either side. Gable ends of SW and NE ranges to either side; former (to outer left) with steps up (ascending to right) to central loft entrance. SW YARD: SW ELEVATION: 2 entrances (with boarded timber doors) to outer left; window to left. Entrance (with boarded timber door) to outer right; alternate windows and entrances (with boarded timber doors) to 5 bays to right. NW ELEVATION: entrance with boarded timber door to right of centre; 2 windows to left/outer left (both formerly entrances). Window to outer right. Entrance (with boarded timber door) to right, occupying space to NW of detached central wing; window to right. NE ELEVATION: later lean-to to slightly lower height section to right; entrance (with boarded timber door) to right of centre; window to outer right; 2 windows to outer left (one formerly entrance). Entrance (with boarded timber door) set back to right of centre to left section. Large entrance to right. Window to left. NE YARD: SW ELEVATION: 2 entrances to right of slightly lower height section to right; blocked entrance to outer left. Blocked entrance to left of right section. NW ELEVATION: entrance to left of centre. Window to outer right. NE ELEVATION: large near central segmental-headed cartshed entrance (boarded timber door); formerly with 2 identical entrances to either side (all now blocked; window to one on each side). Entrance (with boarded timber door) to right; window to right. Entrance (with boarded timber door) to outer right. Entrance to outer left; window to left. Row of small windows (grouped 4-1-5) to 1st floor; larger window to outer right.

Variety of 2 and 4-pane fixed/removable timber frame and corrugated perspex windows; some missing; timber boarding/internal shutters to NE range (including granary). Welsh slate roofs; that to central range piended (piended gable to NW); only sarking remaining to its SE section. Gablehead stacks with band courses to SE of NE and SW ranges; later coped ridge stack to central range; each with single round can.

INTERIOR: wheelhouse intact to NE range adjoining barn/granary. Substantial threshing machinery intact and much of gearing system for driving it. Bothy fireplace at SE end. SW range contains timber posts supporting manger and hayrack for cattle in byre and timber stalls with hayrack for horses in stable section at NW end. Internal divisions/fittings removed to NW range. Lean-to addition to central range occupied by byre.

Statement of Interest

An impressive large improved steading of later 19th century date. The 2-storey range to the NE containing the barn/granary with its water-powered threshing mill is particularly interesting. Water-powered threshing mills (apparently the process was subsequently mechanised at Brough) were rare, horse engines being more common. The no longer extant pond and sluice which fed it are shown just to the NW on the 1881 OS map. A depression in the ground indicates location of former pond. It was the estate farm for nearby Brough House (see separate list description). The adjacent farmhouse (see separate list description) is earlier, dating from the late 18th/early 19th century (as does Brough House itself). The estate belonged to the Stewart family (Edward, the first laird, was an illegitimate son of Earl Robert Stewart of Orkney) from around the end of the 16th century until the middle of the 19th century (it was left to trustees by the 8th laird, James Stewart, in 1858). According to Fenton it belonged to the Traill family during the same period (the two families do appear to have been related however). In the early 1840's 'Mr Stewart of Brugh' was described as the head of one of only two families of independent fortune residing in the parish (then including Papa Westray, New Statistical Account). By 1880 it was certainly in the possession of the Traills of Holland (OS Name Book), for whom the steading may have been built. The steading is shown in its current plan-form on the 1881 OS Map.

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