The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

The Whaler’s Inn

The Whaler's Inn, a small outbuilding situated to the rear of 78 Dundas Street, Stromness, has real character.

On two levels, it is made from dry stone and has some lovely features. The lower building has a flagstone floor and a wonderful small fireplace which has cobbles in front of it. On one of the walls is a recess with a large solid flagstone shelf.

The Whaler's Inn is one of the oldest buildings in Stromness

The front door leads right through to the small grassy area behind it which makes it look rather unusual.  The lady who purchased the house overlooking the property wanted a view of the sea. Rather than demolish the building she had a second doorway put in so she had a view from her house straight through to the shore. 

It is known locally as The Arctic Whaler or The Whaler's Inn after a story written by George Mackay Brown.

The Arctic Whaler is the story of a man named Flaws who, returning from whaling, stops for a drink before going to see Peterina, the lady to whom he is betrothed. While in the inn he learns that her father had died and she is left with funeral expenses to pay.

Now he is back from whaling he has money in his pockets but quickly sees it disappear as he buys drinks and pays bills.

When he gets to Peterina's home he tells her that the funeral expenses have been paid and that he has enough money to pay six months' rent with a little left over. The wedding is paid for too.

Contented, Peterina begins to make a blanket for their bed, a christening shawl for their first child and shrouds for them both.

In the mid-1970s the BBC made a film of this story and used the building as the inn, hence the name The Whaler's Inn.