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Walls (Hoy), Longhope Lifeboat Station

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

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Latitude: 58.7797 / 58°46'46"N

Longitude: -3.2279 / 3°13'40"W

OS Eastings: 329102

OS Northings: 988661

OS Grid: ND291886

Mapcode National: GBR L5DJ.822

Mapcode Global: WH6BV.DL48

Entry Name: Walls (Hoy), Longhope Lifeboat Station

Listing Date: 31 January 2002

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395733

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48347

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Walls and Flotta

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: Stromness and South Isles

Parish: Walls And Flotta

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Circa 1912. Lifeboat station comprising large rectangular-plan boatshed supported on pier/substructure, partially inclined as slipway. Boatshed clad in corrugated metal (painted grey with blue trimmings) with segmental-arched roof. Tarred timber pier supported on series of closely spaced vertical tarred timber posts with full-height timber cross braces; both supported on square-plan concrete plinths sunk into shore.

PIER: orientated NE/SW at right angles to shoreline. Main rectangular-plan section linked to land by narrow walkway supported at centre by pair of braced vertical posts; lower part of slipway slightly narrower than main section. Main section largely set at incline (horizontal platform at SW end/nearest shoreline). Timber handrail (painted white and red) to walkway and NW side of main platform (boatshed situated asymmetrically along SE edge) and at far end of SE side (adjoining boatshed). Pair of slightly inclined timber-framed hull supports (with metal grilles) to lower part of slipway (below boathouse); keel track in between.

BOATSHED: SW ELEVATION: lean-to section projects across entire width of boatshed; entrance with red painted, timber boarded door to centre; flanking windows immediately adjacent. Central window set back above within segmental arch of roof. NE ELEVATION: large central entrance for lifeboat; boarded multi-panel hinged and sliding timber door. Large segmental-headed 8-light mullioned and transomed window centred above within segmental arch of roof. NW and SE ELEVATIONS: 3 regularly disposed mullioned and transomed tripartite windows (each set at different level according to incline of slipway).

Mainly 3 and 2-pane timber casement windows. Segmentally arched corrugated metal roof with central rooflight.

INTERIOR: most of original fixtures and fittings intact. Braced steel roof trusses. Boarded timber sarking to roof and similar facing to walls. Timber loft at upper (SW) end. Central section of slipway partially recessed with timber and cast-iron hull supports and central keel track incorporating rollers and winding flex. Cast-iron winding machine at apex (for dragging lifeboat up slipway over rollers). Petrol-powered engine for powering winding adjacent. Timber boards listing names of lifeboat crews to walls. Timber plaque with running total of number of lives saved ('623' - 2000).

Statement of Interest

An attractive, well preserved and maintained early 20th century lifeboat station. The Longhope lifeboat service was established in 1874. Formerly it operated from a boatshed (still standing although altered and of little interest except historically) immediately to the S of the Ayre Causeway. This larger station was constructed to replace it in about 1912. The 8 members of its crew who were drowned when the then lifeboat overturned off South Ronaldsay in 1969 are commemorated in a bronze statue by Ian Scott in Osmundwall churchyard. The first lifeboat in the UK was sponsored by members of a private club in South Shields. In 1824 the predecessor of today's Royal National Lifeboat Institution (The R.N.L.I.) was established on a more co-ordinated nationwide basis, regular sponsorship being organised from the late 19th century onwards. The organisation continues to be funded by public sponsorship and lifeboats are still manned by voluntary crews.

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