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Friday, 24 June 2016

Old kirk on Graemsay

There was a time that folk regularly walked along the paths to worship at this old kirk on Graemsay. Nowadays services are held intermittently in the Community Hall.  This kirk, like many others, has been sold off due to rising costs and falling numbers of the congregation.  It's now used as a barn for storing hay.  The kirkyard is still in use though and is maintained with regular grass cutting during the summer season. It's in a beautiful, peaceful setting. A very tranquil "last resting place".

Not much glass left in the windows now.

I haven't gone round to look for the oldest headstone, but most are from the 19th Century.

Most have very simple family headstones, though one or two have more elaborate "obelisk" type monuments.

And look at the view! This gate was the original entrance. Now it leads to a farmers field and you approach the kirkyard from the road on the other side.

Looking towards the Kirk and Eastwards.

The kirkyard is right on the shore and there is a lovely walk around the coast nearby.

And S. who is cutting the grass this summer, has been leaving delightful patches of wild flowers among the graves. Bluebells....

Blue and pink bells (hybrids obviously)!

Grass of parnasus (it's the white flower).

Pink sea thrift

And on the old stone dyke (wall) hangs this wonderful hairy lichen!

Me though, I plan to be scattered along the shore, but hopefully not for a while yet!  :-)


  1. I'll say this, if we really wanted an option for our retired years, your island would be as good as any . The very structure of things, the nature, the old, halfruined stonefences, the swirling birds in the air. The only thing that differs are the churches. Not many of that kind here in Sweden, but on the islands, Ă–land and Gotland f.i you can find churches similar to that one. Sooo beautiful, so serene, so mindmelting, I mean think of it, the worshippers, the singing, the prayers echoing between the walls, the rows of crying friends in the churchyard, early morning mass at christmas, the decades passing. I wonder what winter is like, think I have to dig myself down in your older posts!! Meanwhile, I'll rest among bluebells and seathrift, pondering on John the baptist. Happy Mid-Summer, Sian!

    1. Winter - ha! Very mild (rarely freezing here) but VERY Windy and wet. Gales from October through to March and beyond sometimes. And it gets dark at 3.15 pm and not light till 9am. I hibernate.... summer on the other hand is great, even though the temperatures are rarely high - about 18C at their highest.

  2. Such a shame that rising costs mean it is not used anymore, I bet the windows were once beautiful filled with stained glass. A beautiful final resting place.

    1. I think it was a fairly simple kirk - Church of Scotland isn't big on ornamentation! So they would have been plain glass windows.