A Little History
The site of the Old Manse and Glebe was originally called Brinnigar (Brown's Garth) - the name it retains on O.S. Maps - and was recorded as a functioning farm from the late 1500s. From the late 1700s onwards, the Minister for both Stromness and Sandwick parishes lived here, and the Glebe was the farmworker's cottage attached to the manse.
Around 1900, when herring fishing was at its height, our house, The Old Manse, burnt down. Until we renovated 10 years ago, it was used as a cow byre. The Glebe cottage remained intact and occupied until the 1970s. This photo, taken from the top of the Warbeth Road, shows the herring fleets in Hoy Sound and, to the right, the shell of The Old Manse with the (white) roof of the Glebe.
Smoke in the middle ground is kelp burning at Warbeth.
The farmhouse, or glebe, you will be staying in was built as a 'But and Ben' (a traditional Scottish term for a two roomed cottage). Renovated to a high standard, we have endeavoured to keep as many of the original features as possible including the stone walls, door spaces, and, most pleasingly, the windows - each one a different shape and size, framing individual views of seascape and hill.
Slightly out of keeping with the original 'But and Ben' style, we have added a comfortable shower room alongside the traditional double bedroom and living / kitchen space.
In order to make use of as much natural light as possible, we have also installed sun pipes which lighten the rooms even on a grey day. These, coupled with the original windows, let Orkney light spill into the living room in unique ways.