New discoveries at the Hall!

Our President, Andrew Appleby is very keen to explore the archaeology of The Hall of Clestrain.

Andrew feels that there is a very urgent need to interpret the courtyard at the rear of the Hall. Being a Palladian building, we all know its importance for Orkney. Palladian farm courtyards, by their nature are very rare indeed. So the other day Andrew and his wife Sigrid, made some initial investigations, which I mentioned in an email.

Andrew has discussed forming a voluntary team to investigate the courtyard

He also spoke to Julie Gibson the Country Archaeologist about all of this and gained her utter support. As County Archaeologist she applauds us. He has yet to speak with Dan Lee of ORCA but we are sure of their support as in the past. We hope that Paul Johnson, who has professionally record and restored vernacular buildings for the Restoration program will lead this part of the project.

Andrew hopes that this voluntary group, which we have several who have expressed and interest, will save us a great deal of money and achieve fascinating results, as you will  see below.

What Andrew proposes is, when things get easier with COVID19, we could get a volunteer team together. He believes, that with planning, it would only take around ten days to see this job done. There will be some expenses, possibly in writing up the work, conservation if necessary, providing refreshments and various materials for recording etc.

If you are interested in becoming involved in any way please email

Photos by John Welburn and Andrew Appleby