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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A wander to the old kirk

With such lovely weather last week it was a great opportunity to wander down to the old kirk with a friend who was visiting from south.

The kirk is in a sad state now with the roof falling in and a fence around it warning people it is a dangerous structure.  The vestry door was missing and covered by an old wooden pallet so with some judicious leaning in and camera pointing it was possible to get some pictures of the interior.

Here you can see the old slate was laid on wooden rafters, with wooden panelling covering it - no insulation!  Mmmm. pink.....

The old organ or harmonium (I'm no musicain!!) in a corner with a football on top!!

Detail from the organ with old livestock feed bags underneath.

Outside all the glass in the windows has gone..... Shafts of light break through the gaps in the roof.

I love the shape of the windows....

Er, no the kirk isn't subsiding, I think it was me!

Outside a shed covers the main entrance, but you can see the wood panelling that would have covered the walls.

Meanwhile the kirkyard is kept in good order.  While the kirk itself is in private ownership, the kirkyard is still in use and well maintained.  The inhabitants have stunning views over to Hoy!

This is the family grave of  some of the Sutherland family, of Sandside.

The inscription reads:

In Memory Of
Henry Sutherland
Who died 29th July 1871 aged 78 years
Also of James, his son, who died 9th January 1837, aged 11 months
Also Betsy Sutherland, his wife, who died 1st May, 1884, aged 84 years
Also Captain Henry Sutherland, Ship Captain of Liverpool and son of the above
who died in Mobile, Alabama, 3rd November, 1885 aged 58 years

and their son, Samuel Sutherland, who died 1920 aged 71 years,
Also his wife Mary, S Lyon 1933 aged 77 years.

Family members of the Wilson's and Lyons are among those buried in the 19th and early 20th Century.

I love the furry lichen on the old stones

It covers the walls too.

And primroses grow in the grass by the graves

An oystercatcher has laid eggs and raised young in the kirk yard for some years.  An egg shell from this year, hopefully a successful hatch.

And this is the breast bone of a herring gull found nestling by the wall inside the kirk yard, appropriately enough!

And a panoramic view from the gate, looking from one end of Hoy to the other

And the road up from the kirkyard..... quite steep as hills go on Graemsay.

But with lovely wildflowers along the verges.  This is a low horizontal growing willow, and crowberry is growing among it.

This is called "Ladie's Smock" - not that I know any ladies that wear smocks these days!

The old quarry..... you can't see them well in this picture but the bank is full of tiny dog violets

At the top of the hill looking across an old croft, towards the farm of Fillets

And home under blue skies..... and Mare's tails clouds


  1. Beautiful photos and I love your eye for detail! I have only commented a couple of times, but I do love your blog and have been following you for years. You live in a spectacular part of the world - thank you for sharing it.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. And for taking the time to comment too!

  2. Its a shame that the building is going to ruin and that it cant be put to some other use like a home etc.

    1. I know, it would have made a lovely home. Though quite a way from water and electricity which would cost a lot to put in. But the neighbours would be quiet ;-)

  3. I have to assume some of my folk are buried there, too. I hope beyond hope to visit some day in the not too distant future