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This building is in the Orkney Islands Council and the Walls And Flotta Parish. It is a category A building and was listed on 21/07/2006.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: ND 3099 9464.


1937. Former pump house and oil storage tank, converted to the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum in 1990, and located next to Lyness Pier (see separate listing), part of a significant and large group of military structures at Lyness situated next to Scapa Flow.

PUMP HOUSE: 1937. 3 tall gabled ranges and 2 further axially aligned gabled ranges flanked by later low, full-width, lean-to ranges; square brick plinths formerly supporting 2 industrial stacks (see Notes). Steel frame construction with rendered brick walls, and thickened brick base course to cill height. Multi-pane metal windows with hopper openings. Roof (replaced 1980s) with profiled sheet metal cladding and retaining roof lights. The interior was seen in 2013 and is divided into 2 spaces containing pumping machinery dating to circa 1936-39. Boiler Room with hand operated fuel pumps, Worthington steam pump, 3 Wilsons of Glasgow Lancashire type boilers, 2 Worthington duplex boiler feed pumps and 2 centrifugal fans powered by Roby single cylinder vertical steam engines. Pump Room with 3 Worthing oil pumps, 2 Reader rotary engines and 2 Worthington condensers.

OIL STORAGE TANK AND BUND: 1937. Circular storage tank of riveted steel plates with exterior access stair and metal safety railing; associated bund (an earthen spillage containment bank), and surviving oil pipe connections.


The former pump house and oil tank are exceptionally rare surviving examples of Second World War buildings and they are part of an important group of buildings put in place to supply the Royal Navy stationed in Scapa Flow immediately before, during and after the Second World War. The pumphouse contains rare surviving and largely unaltered machinery and forms part of a wider group with other significant military buildings associated with the First and Second World War in the area (see separate listings). There is an additional pump house nearby which also served the base at Lyness (see separate listing) and it is of similar date however the fuel there was pumped by diesel engine rather than steam engine. The two pump house buildings at Lyness are the only pump houses of their type in Scotland and the only surviving examples of out of the four Admiralty fuel stations built in Scotland. The oil tank, including its associated bund, is also very rare. The installation at Lyness was used to pump fuel to and from the underground storage tanks in Wee Fea, Hoy.. The machinery required for this process remains intact and inlcudes the steam engines, pumps and associated plant. The technology and materials used for the construction and operation of the pump house and oil tank are thought to have been amongst the most advanced of the period. Prior to the First World War, Britain was considered to be most at risk of attack from continental Europe and the British Navy was based on the south coast of England. However the changing political situation at the beginning of the 20th century meant that the threat changed to focus on the German Navy in the Baltic sea. It was this, combined with the geography of the Orkney Islands which was the impetus for moving part of the Grand Fleet to Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. Scapa Flow is is one of the world's largest natural harbours and it is mostly enclosed by surrounding islands, including Hoy, where Lyness overlooks Scapa Flow. The enormous impact on the Orkney Islands of both World Wars has left us with an important legacy of military structures, many of which do not survive elsewhere in the UK. By 1942 the naval base at Lyness supported thousands of military and civilian personnel. Lyness would became a self-contained town that provided accommodation and recreational facilities for the service men and women who were stationed there during both World Wars. In 1957 the Royal Naval base at Lyness was decommissioned and the pump house ceased operation. Orkney Islands Council purchased the former pump house site in 1980, and by 1990 it was opened as a museum and visitor centre. A permanent exhibition was erected within the circular plan form of the oil tank in 1990. Chimney stacks were removed from brick plinths due to maintenance work in 2014. Previously listed as `Hoy, Lyness, Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, Former Steam Pumping Station and Oil Storage Tank'. Listed building record updated as part of the review of Lyness (2014).


Ordnance Survey. (Published 1948) Orkney Islands (South). 1 inch to the mile, popular. London: Ordnance Survey. Burgher, L (1991) Orkney: An Illustrated Architectural Guide. 1st Ed. Edinburgh: Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. pp. 77-78. English Heritage (2003) Twentieth Century Military Sites.http://www.helm.org.uk/guidance-library/twentieth-century-military-sites/twentieth-century-military-sites.pdf Guy, J. (1993) Orkney Islands World War One and Two Defences. (Vol 2). Hewison, W.S. (1985) This Great Harbour, Scapa Flow. Stromness: Orkney Press. http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/9487/ [accessed February 2014] www.scapaflow.co [accessed February 2014]

© 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).