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This building is in the Orkney Islands Council and the Walls And Flotta Parish. It is a category B building and was listed on 08/12/1971.

Group Items: see notes, Group Cat: A, Map Ref: ND 2695 8932.


Probably mid 18th century with minor alterations. Single storey with hayloft to main block; L-plan; former barn with crowstepped gables and regularly disposed ventilation slits to hayloft. Coursed rubble with partial remains of harling and sandstone dressings. Chamfered reveals to principal openings to principal (S) and E and W elevations; long and short surrounds to larger original openings throughout.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: principal (threshing) entrance (altered and with replacement sliding door) to left of centre. Wide inserted/enlarged window to left. Former entrance (now window) to right; deep lintel with monogram to right (intertwined initials probably B W S M). 5 regularly disposed ventilation slits to hayloft. Stone steps with coped parapet to outer right; continued around corner to E side and incorporating outhouse belonging to adjacent property (former cottages, now 'The Laundry House') within harled base.

N ELEVATION: principal (threshing) entrance to right (plain timber door). Flanking windows and one to left formerly entrance. 3 ventilation slits to hayloft. Gable end of rear wing projects to outer right; entrance with boarded timber door to right. Lean-to addition to outer right; window to left and one to right return.

W ELEVATION: gable end (main block) to right; large window (originally loading door) to loft. Rear wing adjoins to left; near central former entrance (now boarded window); small window (boarded) to left.

E ELEVATION: steps project to lower level (adjoining adjacent property). Large window (originally loading door) to gable above. Lean-to addition adjoins to right; entrance to left.

Mainly multi-pane fixed timber frame windows. Stone slate roof. Coped stugged mid-pitch stack (an addition) at W end of main block (no cans).

INTERIOR: roof trusses replaced. Loft floor missing but supporting beams still in place. Timber and stone flagged floor.

GATEPIERS TO W: pair of square-plan gatepiers by W R Lethaby of 1898-1900, linked to former barn by small section of rubble wall. Coursed rubble with band course at apex surmounted by pyramid coping.


A-Group with Melsetter House, Chapel, Lodge and Gatepiers, Kitchen and Walled Gardens, Burial Enclosure, Estate Office, Gardener's Cottage, Laundry House and Spinning Cottage. A substantial, largely intact, traditional barn probably of mid 18th century date. Almost the only structure to be left entirely unaltered during the reconstruction of the buildings at Melsetter by W R Lethaby between 1898 and 1900. Presumably this was because Lethaby admired it. Lethaby was a leading exponent and promoter of the Arts and Crafts Movement and widely adopted traditional vernacular features in his buildings. The Melsetter Estate was the home of the Moodie family from the later 16th century until the earlier 19th century. It is likely that the barn might date from the ownership of Benjamin Moodie, who was the laird in the mid 18th century. When the estate was bought (and the buildings at Melsetter redeveloped) by Thomas Middlemore, a Birmingham industrialist, in 1898, it comprised the entire island of Hoy as well as the adjacent smaller islands of South Walls, Fara and Rysa. It was called 'The Hall' because functions were held here (information from Elsie Seater of Melsetter House).


1st Edition County Series OS MAP (1881); Godfrey Rubens, WILLIAM RICHARD LETHABY (1986) pp129-138 & p300; Leslie Burgher, ORKNEY, AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991) p77; John Gifford, THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (in the 'Buildings of Scotland' series, 1992) p343.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).