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The Laura Grimond Award for Architectural Projects 2020

The 2020 Laura Grimond Award for Architectural Projects has been given to Robbie and Emma Thomson for their outstanding restoration of a long derelict Grade B Listed eighteenth century house and farm buildings at Hestikelday in Holm. The Thomsons use of recycled material, rather than buying new, sets this project apart and emphasizes the merits of recognising their achievement by presenting them with this award.

OHS Vice President, Sheena Wenham presenting Robbie Thomson with a framed certificate and Emma Thomson receiving her certificate from OHS Chairman, Spencer Rosie.

Hestikelday is still a work in progress with the kiln and peat store currently being restored.Many people will be familiar with the property, having featured on TV earlier this year on the Orkney and Shetland episode of ‘Scotland’s Home of the Year’.






The Laura Grimond Award was established in 1999 in memory of Laura Grimond, with the aim of encouraging and promoting excellence in the built environment of Orkney, a subject dear to her heart. It was originally run as a competition, with nominations being submitted. The difficulty of obtaining qualified judges meant it fell into abeyance for a few years. The award was re-established in 2019, with the Board of OHS giving out an occasional award to a building development that contributes to preserving the architectural heritage of Orkney.

Orkney Heritage Society applauds the Thomsons for their high quality restoration of Hestikelday and look forward to seeing the completion of their works.

New Orkney Antiquarian Journal – Volume 9 published. Offical launch via online event on 24th September.

Orkney Heritage Society are pleased to announce the publication of the ninth volume of its New Orkney Antiquarian Journal.

The ninth volume is devoted to the Orkney Heritage Society’s project to commemorate the victims of the Orkney witchcraft trials.

The journal focusses on witchcraft trials held in Kirkwall between 1594 and 1706. Who were the women and men accused, and of what were they accused? What were the beliefs underlaying these trials and what motivated the accusers?

This special edition of the New Orkney Antiquarian Journal will be launched in an online event on Thursday 24th September at 7pm.

The event will include talks from Prof Liv Willumsen, University of the Arctic, leading researcher on the witch trials of Finnmark and Orkney, and from Dr Ragnhild Ljosland, University of the Highlands and Islands, publication editor: “The psychology of the witchcraft trials”, followed by questions and dialogue.

This virtual launch will be available to join via Zoom, and to attend online you will first need to register via Eventbrite: click here. Free to register, but numbers are limited.

New Orkney Antiquarian Journal Volume 9 is now available to purchase via the OHS website’s bookshop. where you can find more detail about the journal.

2020 Eynhallow trip cancelled

Orkney Heritage Society regret to announce that due to the current situation with COVID-19 there will be no excursion to Eynhallow in 2020.

We look forward to the next trip in 2021, most likely in July.

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