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Hillside, South Walls, Hoy

A Category C Listed Building in Stromness and South Isles, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 58.8018 / 58°48'6"N

Longitude: -3.1478 / 3°8'52"W

OS Eastings: 333777

OS Northings: 991044

OS Grid: ND337910

Mapcode National: GBR L5LG.GRZ

Mapcode Global: WH6BW.M188

Plus Code: 9CCRRV22+PV

Entry Name: Hillside, South Walls, Hoy

Listing Name: South Walls (Hoy), Hillside

Listing Date: 31 January 2002

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395724

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48338

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Walls and Flotta

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: Stromness and South Isles

Parish: Walls And Flotta

Traditional County: Orkney

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Later 19th century; upper storey added 1910. 2-storey; 3-bay; rectangular-plan house with well preserved interior and attached single storey, L-plan outbuilding range incorporating barn and byre. House harled; outbuilding range coursed rubble. 1st floor windows smaller than those at ground/adjoining eaves. Concrete/cement coping to gables.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: near central gabled porch (added 1955) to house, architraved entrance, (Satellite dish to left of porch). Flanking windows to each floor and one above. Single storey outbuilding range adjoins to left. Near central entrance (with horizontally divided 2-leaf timber door with 'portholes' inserted) to main section (barn). Entrance (with boarded timber door) to outer right (formerly small dairy); window to left. Gable end of short wing (byre) projects to outer left; entrance (with timber door) to right return. Lean-to (for smaller animals e.g. pigs/hens) to gable end, projecting to right; entrance (with boarded timber door with inserted 'porthole') to right return.

W ELEVATION: window to each of 3 bays to ground floor of house; windows to outer flanking bays to 1st floor. Single storey outbuilding range adjoins to right. Entrance (with timber door) to left of centre (barn). Small window to left. Entrance (with boarded timber door with inserted 'porthole') to outer right.

N ELEVATION: blank gable end to house.

S ELEVATION: blank short wing to outbuilding range (byre). Lean-to adjoins set back slightly to outer right; entrance (with ventilated timber door) to left.

Mainly 12-pane timber sash and case and 6-pane fixed frame windows. Caithness slate roofs; corrugated perspex to lean-to; 2 small single pane rooflights to byre; larger ones to house. Corrugated asbestos roof to porch. Gablehead stacks with concrete coping and band courses to either side (N and S) of house; single round can to each.

INTERIOR: layout and fittings of house intact, including timber internal partitions and two box beds. Plain timber fireplace surround in room to left of entrance (but). Finely panelled timber doors to box bed and adjacent built in cupboards (Adamesque detailing to panels above) to room to right of entrance (ben); timber fireplace surround with shell motifs; boarded timber lining to walls. Stone flagged floors to barn and byre. Small threshing mill intact to barn; timber loft above for storing oats. Stone slab stall partitions and central drainage channel to byre.

Statement of Interest

A very well maintained traditional Orcadian croft, probably largely dating from the later 19th century. It is particularly notable for its intact interiors, retaining fine examples of box beds (that in the 'ben' end and the surrounding panelling with swag motifs). The interior of the outbuilding range is also intact with a good example of a small threshing mill. A small circular threshing gin is shown adjacent to the threshing barn on the 2nd Edition OS Map (1902). According to the present occupant (2000) it was powered by oxen. At this time the S section of the L-plan outbuilding range is shown as slightly separated from the barn and house (the same section does not appear at all on the 1st Edition OS Map of 1881). It is illustrative of the traditional pattern of living in Orkney, comprising largely self-sufficient crofts or family units. This disappeared rapidly, within the space of a couple of generations, by the latter part of the twentieth century. Hillside is also of interest because so much of its history is known to the present occupant (2000), who was born here, one of 9 children, in the earlier part of the 20th century when it was a functioning croft. As an adult, William Groat, worked as a banker and spent several years working aboard a 'floating bank' (housed in a boat), about which he has written a book.

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