Early modern

Layers of sand, layers of history

Lines in sandstone caused by natural weathering. Despite the visual similarity they are not runes.
Lines in sandstone caused by natural weathering. Despite the visual similarity they are not runes. Reverse side of stone. Lines in sandstone caused by natural weathering. Despite the visual similarity they are not runes. Beach combing in Burray Burray is an exciting place for beach combers: Along a wide, beautifully arched bay, the layers of [...]Read more of Layers of sand, layers of history...

A Christmas expedition to a Press Gang cave

The now very small entrance to the Press Gang Cave, used as a hide-out during the French-English and Napoleonic Wars.
Trying to catch some of the washed-out midwinter daylight in the Christmas holidays, we took my parents out on an expedition to find a hidden cave, which, according to local tradition, was used as a hide-out by Orkney lads not wishing to be enrolled in the navy. The Press Gang, as they were known, were [...]Read more of A Christmas expedition to a Press Gang cave...

Devil’s clawmarks, Sanday

The so called Devil's Clawmarks, Ladykirk, Sanday.
The so called Devil's Clawmarks, Ladykirk, Sanday. In the island of Sanday, there is a village and a parish both called Lady, after the old Ladykirk there. The church is now a roofless ruin, but you can still climb up the stone stairs that once led from the outside to the upper level. On the [...]Read more of Devil’s clawmarks, Sanday...

Kit Huntling’s

At last, after two failed attempts, we have conquered Kit Huntling’s. This is a site far away into the peat hills between Harray and Evie parishes. We first tried to get to it from the wrong direction, which meant wading through waist-deep heather and climbing the ups and downs of rows and rows of old […]

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Abandoned village, Sanday

At Ortie in Sanday, there's an entire abandoned village.  I know little of its history, and can't say why it was abandoned, but from the looks of it I can tell it's 19th century. It is built in a similar way to Balfour Village in Shapinsay (still a thriving community), with a long row of [...]Read more of Abandoned village, Sanday...

The Hogboon of Helliehow

On impulse, we took the ferry out to Sanday, but quickly discovered that 24 hours was nowhere near enough time to explore everything we wanted to see there. One thing I wanted to explore in particular, was Helliehow up in the north end of Sanday. I have been into mound folklore lately, especially those stories […]

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Castle of the rune stone

27 Feb 2016 Yet again we are back at the Castle of Breckness looking for the missing piece of our rune stone. The whole thing started back in 2001, when Chris and I were very young. We were having this romantic walk along the shore near Stromness, and came to the ruins of Breckness. As the […]

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