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Gardener's Cottage, Melsetter House, Hoy

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

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Latitude: 58.7859 / 58°47'9"N

Longitude: -3.2643 / 3°15'51"W

OS Eastings: 327012

OS Northings: 989391

OS Grid: ND270893

Mapcode National: GBR L59H.WZ4

Mapcode Global: WH6BT.TFRH

Plus Code: 9CCRQPPP+97

Entry Name: Gardener's Cottage, Melsetter House, Hoy

Listing Name: Walls (Hoy), Melsetter, Gardener's Cottage, Including Stone Setts and Garden Wall to North

Listing Date: 8 December 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395756

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48366

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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Late 18th century/early 19th century, remodelled 1898-1900 by W R Lethaby. 2-storey and single storey and loft; long rectangular-plan cottage; originally (prior to remodelling) part of steading. 2-storey 3-bay section with low wide 1st floor windows to S; long single storey and loft range to W; both with some exposed relieving arches (from original building). Harled with sandstone and ashlar dressings. Exposed lintels to some ground floor openings only. Vertical margins at arrises at E end.

N ELEVATION: 2-storey section to left. Entrance to lean-to porch to right of centre; plain timber door; windows to flanking returns. Irregularly disposed flanking windows to each floor. Single storey and loft section to right. 2 windows to outer left; 3 irregularly disposed doors to right (that to left larger with 2-leaf door).

S ELEVATION: 2-storey section to right. Entrance in between 2 bays to left; replacement part-glazed timber door; exposed relieving arch above. Window to each of 2 bays to right (that to left small). Low wide window to each bay to 1st floor (that to right wider). 8 irregularly disposed windows of different sizes to single storey and loft section to left (grouped 1-2-3-2); that to outer left with original architrave; exposed relieving arches to 2 of those to right of centre.

E ELEVATION: rectangular-plan projection containing steps up to 1st floor to most of ground floor of gable end; steps with parapet ascending to right; entrance to store room beneath steps to right return. Entrance with boarded timber door to right of 1st floor; architraved owl hole above. Window to left.

W ELEVATION: stone steps to either side of platform in front of central loft entrance to gable end.

4 and 12-pane timber sash and case windows and 4 and 8-pane casements and fixed frames. Stone slate roof. Harled gablehead stacks with band courses to either side (E and W) of 2-storey section; similar ridge stack to centre; round cans.

INTERIOR: largely modernised.

STONE SETTS AND GARDEN WALL TO N: short section of irregular stone setts immediately adjoining most of N elevation. U-shaped coursed rubble wall with rounded rubble coping encloses garden area to N of 2-storey section as far as stone setts.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Melsetter House, Chapel, Lodge and Gatepiers, Kitchen and Walled Gardens, Burial Enclosure, Estate Office, The Hall, Laundry House and Spinning Cottage. An interesting range, sensitively remodelled from a building of probably early 19th century date, by one of the most prominent exponents and and promoters of the Arts and Crafts movement. Its original purpose is unknown (according to the present - 2000 - occupants it included a granary and had a grain drying floor) but it occupies the N side of the original courtyard-plan steading of Melsetter. The Melsetter Estate was purchased by Thomas Middlemore, a Birmingham industrialist in 1898. At that time it comprised the entire island of Hoy as well as the adjacent smaller islands of South Walls, Fara and Rysa. It had been the home of the Moodie family from the later 16th century until around the earlier 19th century. The majority of the remaining structures, dating largely from their ownership, were retained in some way by Lethaby (including the house), although greatly modified. The remodelling/construction of the house and surrounding buildings at Melsetter was one of Lethaby's most important commissions. It is unusual in that it involved the redevelopment of an entire complex of buildings, which form a harmonious whole and are very much in keeping with local vernacular traditions.

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