Kirbuster Museum Visitor Information

Kirbuster Museum Birsay Orkney, It has been over thirty years ago that George Argo gifted the buildings at Kirbuster Farm to Orkney Islands Council.

Entry is free, the former owner gifting it to the community, whose knowledgable and passionate volunteer custodians make visitors very welcome, walk through the farm house and you can imagine the previous generations of occupiers still being there.

An excellent place to visit if you are researching your Orkney ancestry. Kirbuster was occupied up until the 1960s, once the home of the Spence and Hay families, the house has a central hearth, complete with peat fire, and a stone neuk bed reminiscent of the Neolithic interiors that can be seen at sites such as Skara Brae, the bedrooms are part of an extension to the firehoose that took place about 1723 and lead into a parlour as it was in the early 20th Century.


  • Birsay: Latitude: 59.1327° N Longitude: 3.2974° W
  • Birsay: KW17
  • Birsay: WOEID 12729

Kirbuster Museum was opened to the public in 1986, it is the last example of a traditional ‘firehoose,’ the earliest known building which goes back to at least 1595.

The house demonstrates how little some aspects of domestic life has changed in a unique and fascinating insight into four centuries of family life in Orkney, it has an Edwardian parlour and Victorian Gardens, visitors can enjoy a game of putting on the green by a beautiful river, then around the back of the buildings is another area planted with trees, were you will find the Trowie Trail, through the garden.

Outside you can see the stables and the byres, the outbuildings are full of farm implements a collection of farming memorabilia that range over several centuries.

The first mention of Kirkbuster (kirkju-boldstadr) is in 1595 when it was worth 1 barrel butter and 9 pultrie (hens).

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