The Garret was a cottage between those of Ploverhall and Shalter in Wasbister. In 1841 it was occupied by Isabella Inkster, and between 1864 and 1870 John Mowat, originally paying ten shillings rent, but later rising to £1. In 1871, 44-year-old widowed stocking-knitter Margaret Mowat lived there. The extent of the land at the Garret was 5.9 acres, for which Margaret continued to pay an annual rent of £1.
Margaret was the daughter of Hugh Marwick of Furse and Katherine Craigie of Claybank, and she was born on December 23rd 1826. She married John Mowat of Garret and they had a son, John, and a daughter, Mary.
Margaret died at Garret in 1920 at the age of 94, and her unmarried daughter Mary died there in 1937, the house remaining empty ever since.
The following is the inscription on Margaret’s tombstone in the Wasbister kirkyard:-
In loving memory of our dear mother
Margaret Mowat who died at Garret
5th May 1920 aged 94 years.
“Peaceful be thy rest dear mother:
’Tis sweet to breathe thy name:
In life we loved you very dear:
In death we do the same.”
The Garret, in silhouette against a sparkling Rousay sky
Old map section showing the Garret’s location