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Yell, Windhouse

Garden Wall(S) (Period Unassigned), Lairds House (18th Century)

Site Name Yell, Windhouse

Classification Garden Wall(S) (Period Unassigned), Lairds House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Windhouse, Including Garden Walls, Terrace And Ha-ha

Canmore ID 178922

Site Number HU49SE 21

NGR HU 48878 91910

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Yell
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland

Archaeology Notes

HU49SE 21 48878 91910

For chapel and burial-ground at Windhouse, see HU49SE 1.

Site Management (28 November 1990)

Former laird's house, original L-plan house at centre comprising symmetrical dormered single storey and attic 3-bay principal block with projecting crenellated porch, single storey 2-bay wing to rear (forming L-plan), square-plan single storey single bay crenellated wings flanking principal block, lean-to additions in-filling re-entrant angles flanking rear wing. Harled walls with droved sandstone ashlar and concrete dressings and details.

18th century haas are rare survivors in Shetland, and although Windhouse has been substantially extended and is in a ruinous state, it still retains much evidence of the early house. It was probably a single storey and attic 3-bay haa with a concealed attic similar to Swinister Old Haa in Delting. Late 19th century alterations included adding the entrance porch and crowsteps, inserting bipartite windows and dormers, and adding the E and W wings. These sort of light-hearted alterations in rendered brick and concrete are quite common in Shetland during the end of the 19th century. Lunna House, Nesting, and St Olaf's, Yell, are examples of this, but alterations at Windhouse are more radical than most. The 1880s castellated-gothic rebuilding is of historic interest, but its main contribution is to the dramatic silhouette of the house when viewed from the surrounding area. (Historic Scotland)


Standing Building Recording (29 June 2017 - 7 September 2017)

HU 4888 9191 (HU49SE 21) A Level 2 historic building survey and programme of trial trenching was undertaken, June– September 2017, prior to the redevelopment of a house. The former Laird’s House was built in 1707 and remodelled and extended in 1885. The house consists of a L-plan single-storey building extended to the E, N and W. Extensive collapse throughout the building, especially in the upper-storey and roof has occurred in the last decade. The trial trenches revealed human skeletal remains indicating the presence of a burial ground. The partial remains of at least two buildings, one of which may be an early chapel, pre-dating the existing structure, were also identified during the work.

Archive: NRHE

Funder: Bell Ingram Design Ltd

Steven Cox – Headland Archaeology Ltd

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

OASIS ID: headland1-298112


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