Fisherman's Hut and Nousts at Skibo Geo, Birsay, Mailand, Orkney, Scotland

Fisherman’s hut and nousts at Skibo Geo. Location: Birsay, Mainland, Orkney (Scotland).

Skiba Geo has been in use since Viking times. It is a sheltered beach allowing easy access for landing fishing boats. In the winter, the boats were pulled up to the nousts at the top of the beach for protection. Moreover, the 19th century fisherman’s hut next to the nousts provided a safe space for storing equipment.

Ultimately, the site fell into disrepair through lack of use in the 1960s. However, it was renovated by the pupils, friends and parents of Class Six of Dounby Primary School in 1989


A noust is a place where a boat can be hauled up and kept ashore.  Traditionally, it is a scooped-out trench at the edge of a beach surrounded by a shallow wall of stones.


A geo is a long, narrow, steep-sided cleft formed by erosion in coastal cliffs.


Birsay (Old Norse: Birgisherað) is a fertile parish in the north west corner of The Mainland of Orkney, Scotland. Therefore, almost all the land in this parish is agricultural and chiefly comprises grassland that is used to rear beef cattle. 

In addition, there are various ancient monuments within the parish boundaries. Specifically: the prehistoric and Norse settlements on the tidal island of Brough of Birsay and the ruins of the Earl’s Palace at the northern end of the village. Hence, they are maintained by Historic Scotland and bring many visitors to the area in summer. Source: