The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme


Melsetter House, Hoy

Melsetter House is a private house which was originally constructed in 1738 as an L-shaped two-storey laird's abode.  Thomas Middlemore inherited a fortune made in Birmingham in the manufacture of leather bicycle seats and chose to move to Orkney with his wife, Theodesia Mackay, a renowned embroiderer and weaver. Both were followers of designer and architect William Morris and when in 1898 they wanted to remodel the house in their preferred style, they employed the architect William Lethaby.  He created three storey country mansion built around a paved courtyard,  with walled gardens. The south wing incorporated the original house, and one of the original outbuildings was converted to a chapel.