59 Degrees North is located at Whistlebrae, a two hundred year old croft cottage located in Burness, an ancient parish which forms the NW limb of Sanday. Burness is surrounded by the sea, only being connected with the rest of Sanday by a narrow isthmus.
The oldest records we’ve been able to find for Whistlebrae show it being used as a crofting cottage back in 1810. We bought the house in 2019 and moved in permanently in March 2020, the day the country went into “lockdown” for the Covid-19 pandemic.
When we arrived, the interior had been well looked after and just needed updating to suit our taste. We have fitted new flooring, underfloor heating, LED lighting, skirting, architraves, new kitchen and oak doors. That just leaves new windows and bathrooms for a revamp next year! Outside, the land had been neglected for a number of years and we are working hard to return it to its former glory. We’ve removed tonnes of rubbish and two huge piles of rock and soil, using it to fill in holes that were used to quarry the stone for previous building works.
Work we’ve completed to date include:
• repaired fencing and replaced old rusted gates
• widened the entrance so we can fit our motorhome in
• renewed the stone chips to the driveway and made a parking area – it used almost 300 tonnes of stone!
• cut grass, lots of grass!
• moved tonnes of stone ready to make new walls
• built the cafe barn
• planted over 1,250 trees and bushes
• added a large garden shed
• built an all-weather decked area
• created a garden
• created new paths and walkways
• re-roofed the garage
We are really loving the peace and tranquillity living in Sanday, no sirens, no noise, no pollution, dark skies, fresh air and space!