In the time of
the merchant lairds, Howar was the residence of the laird’s
Factor. Howar is the largest croft on North Ronaldsay, unlike
other crofts it is made up of a single piece of land formed when the
factor evicted the families in the surrounding crofts. The names, of
the old crofts, can be seen on old maps of the island. Husmire,
Disher, Flett, Fishoose and Boustay.
at Howar was used to store produce that was to be shipped south.
Near the Storehoose is the Noust of Howar where boats could be
hauled out or be launched from. In his book “Window on North
Ronaldsay” Peter Tulloch relates how pressed men for the Navy were
held in the Storehoose. There are traces of their names carved into
the wall next to one of the Storehoose windows. The book’s dust
jacket has a sketch inspired by this window. Presently the
Storehoose is a shelter for our female alpacas.
A showpiece farm
Victorian times Howar was a showpiece working farm. Many people would have been
employed to work the land and machinery. The threshing barn still
has its machinery in place. The old smithy still has a working
bellows and hearth. The large byres are now occupied by our sheep.
The oldest building is the stable occupied by our male