Ploverhall, or Pliverha’, was an old croft in Wasbister, surrounded by the lands of Giddystall, the Garret, Feolquoy, and Cairn. John Kirkness is on record as living there between 1819 and 1823, and at the time of the 1841 census James Lennard was the occupant.

The interior of Ploverhall today

In 1851, 31-year-old fisherman and agricultural labourer Robert Inkster and his family lived here. Robert was the son of Hugh Inkster and Isabel Craigie of Tou. He was born on August 18th 1818, and he had five brothers and six sisters. In 1849 he married 25-year-old Janet Inkster, daughter of George Inkster and Jean Marwick of Deithe, and they had five children; John, Robert, David, Mary Jane, and Ann, who were born between 1850 and 1860.

In 1873, the extent of the land at Pliverha’ covered 7.2 acres, for which Robert was charged an annual rent of 15 shillings.

Come the census of 1901, Ploverhall was home to a new family. Forty-four-year-old ploughman Magnus Craigie, his wife and children had moved up the hill from Claybank. Magnus was the son of Alexander Craigie of Whoam, later Falquoy, and Ann Murray, Tofts, Quandal, and he was born on April 24th 1856. In 1879 he married Ellen Cooper of Holm and between 1880 and 1898 they raised a family of thirteen children – five boys and eight girls.

Magnus Craigie and his wife Ellen Cooper, with their youngest daughter
Helen Mary, who was born in August 1898

[The above photo is from the Tommy Gibson Collection]