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Rusk Holm, House

A Category C Listed Building in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Coordinates

Latitude: 59.206 / 59°12'21"N

Longitude: -2.854 / 2°51'14"W

OS Eastings: 351330

OS Northings: 1035795

OS Grid: HY513357

Mapcode National: GBR M49D.KBK

Mapcode Global: XH8KX.4VMW

Entry Name: Rusk Holm, House

Listing Date: 30 March 2001

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395430

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48009

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Westray

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Parish: Westray

Traditional County: Orkney

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Description

Early 19th century. Single storey, windowless house. Exposed rubble walls.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: door to right.

W ELEVATION: tall, shouldered chimney to right.

N ELEVATION: plain elevation.

E ELEVATION: tall, shouldered chimney to right.

Steeply pitched, slated roof; crowstepped gables; gable end stacks.

INTERIOR: not seen, 2000.

Statement of Interest

The house was built to accommodate kelp gatherers. The tall brick-lined chimneys which stand from the ground to roof height, at each gable, were built to burn the kelp. The date of the house is uncertain, however the kelp industry boom occurred during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At this time it dominated the Orkney economy, diverting labour from farming and fishing. Kelp was used in a number of processes, especially the production of soap and glass. The kelp industry has ceased in Orkney and the house is now used as a shelter for the farmer, when he tends to his sheep. The Fort of Rusk Holm, S of the house is a spiral structure made from beach stones which gives the seaweed-eating sheep some protection from the waves, however it is not part of the Statutory List. The interior of the house was not seen but is said to contain box beds (owner's information).

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