All that remains of Castlehill today. Westray away in the distance.

Castlehill, or Castal-hills, was a cot-house high up the valley of the Burn of Castlehill in Wasbister, occupied in 1841 by Hugh Craigie and his family. Hugh was born at Upper Geo, Wasbister about 1786, and he married Christian Gibson on January 22nd 1816. They had two children, Margaret and Sally, who were born in 1821 and 1823 at Upper Geo. They then moved to Castlehill where four more children, another Sally, Hugh, Mary, and James, were born between 1825 and 1837.

Shoemaker James Harrold and his family were the occupants of Castlehill in 1851. James was the son of Alexander Harrold and Marabell Corston of Wyre, and he was born at Boray, Gairsay, about 1820. He married Bella Gibson, the daughter of Hugh Gibson and Janet Marwick of Lower Burness, and she was born on August 20th 1821 when they lived at Newark. also in Wester. James and Bella had four children; Ann, Margaret, John, and James, born between 1848 and 1856.

James Harrold later married Margaret Mainland of Cruseday, Frotoft. Margaret was one of the only set of triplets to be born in Rousay – on February 23rd 1839 – to Alexander Mainland and Janet Kirkness. She and James, who earned a living as a mason and a shoemaker, lived at Mid Cruseday.

Castlehill to the right, Turbitail to the left, and Whitemeadows above

In 1881 Castlehill was occupied by Robert Pearson, a 35-year-old fisherman who used to live not far away at Kirkgate. He married Henrietta Harcus, the daughter of John Harcus and Jean Read of Garson, on Rousay’s Westside, who was born about 1845. They had six children; Robert, James, William, Mary, George, and Alexander, who were born between 1873 and 1885. In 1876, Robert paid rent of £3.10.0. for the 8.8 acres at Castlehill and £4.10.0 in 1887. By 1888 the acreage had increased to 10.286 and the rent, having been fixed by the Crofters Commission, was £3.5.0.