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
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