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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
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 395430
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48009
Building Class: Cultural
County: Orkney Islands
Electoral Ward: North Isles
Traditional County: Orkney
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.
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).