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Friday 17 September 2021

Random Graemsay photos...


A few photos taken while out and about around Graemsay over the last couple of weeks.  Above Hoy Low lighthouse, Hoy Sound and the Orkney Mainland.

Coos under a glowering sky....

Looking over to the Hoy hills

Cattle above the old croft of Corrigal

The heather clad hills of Hoy

The old school....

Nature reclaiming the Cott of School.

Yet another old croft on Graemsay!  Most were small crofts with a few acres which have now been merged with larger crofts or farms.

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Stromness by sea.... (and a bit of Graemsay)


A few days ago the weather was glorious, really warm, sunny, no wind.  We have been fortunate to have probably more than our fair share of those this summer in comparison with much of the rest of the UK.  Anyway it meant a lovely sail over to Stromness for coffee with friends and a bit of shopping in the town.  Plus the chance for a picnic along the shore.  

Hoy Low lighthouse on Graemsay with the Hoy hills as a backdrop

Hoy High lighthouse

A view of Hoy Low from the Graemsay Ferry

Hoy High and Sandside...

Heading to Stromness

Point of Ness campsite just on the approach to Stromness harbour. It used to be full of tents, nowadays, like everywhere else, it is mostly camper vans on the site.

The "double houses" - white and grey gable ends jut out onto a pier.  The white building next to them used to be the shore station for Northern Lighthouse Board lighthouse keepers and their families until they were reassigned to another lighthouse off shore, now private flats.

Panorama of part of the wee town and the hills that shelter it.

The iconic Red Shed was formerly the lifeboat station.  Now it's used by a local company that run diving holidays around the coast of Orkney

The church spire you can see is now on what is known as the Town Hall. A council owned building where the folk festival has gigs, and other concerts, plays and community events are held in this wonderful space.

Along the waterfront - many of these houses have access to piers and slipways

The Stromness beacon, just outsidethe harbour

Looking across to Graemsay - the farm of Fillets

Hoy High and Sandside from the shore of Stromness

These hills are known as the Kame of Hoy

And back to my picnic spot.....

Monday 13 September 2021

Around the island.....


Photo above looking over one of the fields of Quoynanap, silage being cut at Western Horn, Sandside Bay and Hoy High Lighthouse.

Belted Galloway cattle, with calves!

Mist rolling along the sea, while it was lovely and sunny and warm across the island.

The mist rolling along Burra Sound, hiding the hills of Hoy.

The Hamnavoe sailing into the mist.... spooky!

A tortoiseshell butterfly flitting about the garden.

Meanwhile Button absorbs the heat of the day from above and below. This slab of slate came out of the old dairy when the house was renovated.  It retains the heat and Button basks like a lizard. Not that there is anything remotely reptilian about Madam Button!

And a lovely find at the quarry pool, a male common blue damselfly.

Saturday 11 September 2021

Top of the brae.....


Sandside and Hoy High lighthouse,
Stromness and Orphir over the water

My house used to be part of one of the larger farms on the island.  It included the steading (the old outbuildings near the house) and many acres of land. The house was purchased (together with walled garden and the field leading down to the shore) from the current farmer. He keeps cattle and sheep on the land and cuts it for silage.  Recently he called round on a bright sunny day and asked if I wanted to take a run up the field to get some photos.  "Take a run" - well even a walk would be a challenge for me as my lungs don't like braes (hills), even little ones!  However a bit of "off roading" was discussed and we set off up the fields in my wee car.  As it has been dry for weeks there was no danger of me getting stuck in any boggy bits!  The view was, indeed, magnificent.  So here are some of the photos from that day.  Probably best to click on the images to see larger versions.... It's not easy doing panoramas for blogger.

The above photo zoomed in a bit!

This photo shows the curve of Sandside Bay, looking over towards the West Mainland.

Looking West - the green building in the centre is our Community Hall.

A closer view of the Community Hall, to the right, nestled in a small valley is the old croft of Quoys which has a burn beside it, and a pier on the shore.

Ah, if only these walls could speak the stories they would tell.

A croft on top of the brae with the hills of the neighbouring island of Hoy behind.

And looking East, this former croft house clinging to the edge of the hill, with Hoy in the background across the water.

The old croft of Moan. This wee house is just about the main island pier.

This old croft has a traditional turf roof.  Across the water are the hills of Orphir, on the Orkney Mainland.

The croft of Crookshouse (or Ke'uks as it is known on the island). The islands in the distance are CAva and Flotta.

At the top of the brae is Breckan, and to the right the farm of Fillets.

Some more ruins, plus Western Horn.  The cattle are Aberdeen Angus, a small breed of beef cattle popular in Orkney.

Cutting the silage.  Across the water is Orphir and the Hall of Clestrain

I mentioned the croft of Quoys previously, and above it is Garson

The former school - just one room with a cloakroom off, and the old block of outside toilets! Behind is is the Schoolhouse where the teacher would have lived.

The bright green grass is new growth after hay was cut.  The wee house with two chimneys on the brow of the hill is the Cott of School.  And over behind it is known as the Kame Of Hoy - part of the Hoy hills. 

And here we are at Hoy High lighthouse again.  These fields are all part of the farm of Sandside.

And finally ..... home.  Put the kettle on Button....

Final note: I have a copy of an 1841 Census for Graemsay.  It lists 210 people on the island, aged from just 10 days old up to 80.  Today there are just 22 permanent residents....