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Orkney
Orkney
/ˈɔːrkni/ (Old Norse: Orkneyjar, Pictish: Insi Orc, "islands of the pigs"), also known as the Orkney
Orkney
Islands,[Notes 1] is an archipelago in the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
of Scotland, situated off the north coast of Great Britain. Orkney
Orkney
is 16 kilometres (10 mi) north of the coast of Caithness
Caithness
and comprises approximately 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited.[2][3][4] The largest island, Mainland, is often referred to as "the Mainland". It has an area of 523 square kilometres (202 sq mi), making it the sixth-largest Scottish island and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles.[5] The largest settlement and administrative centre is Kirkwall.[6] A form of the name dates to the pre-Roman era and the islands have been inhabited for at least 8500 years, originally occupied by Mesolithic
Mesolithic
and Neolithic
Neolithic
tribes and then by the Picts. Orkney
Orkney
was invaded and forcibly annexed by Norway in 875 and settled by the Norse. The Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
then re-annexed the earldom to the Scottish Crown in 1472, following the failed payment of a dowry for James III's bride Margaret of Denmark.[7] Orkney
Orkney
contains some of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic
Neolithic
sites in Europe, and the "Heart of Neolithic
Neolithic
Orkney" is a designated UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site. Orkney
Orkney
is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, a constituency of the Scottish Parliament, a lieutenancy area, and a historic county. The local council is Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council, one of only three Councils in Scotland
Scotland
with a majority of elected members who are independents.[Notes 2] In addition to the Mainland, most of the islands are in two groups, the North and South Isles, all of which have an underlying geological base of Old Red Sandstone. The climate is mild and the soils are extremely fertile, most of the land being farmed. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy. The significant wind and marine energy resources are of growing importance, and the island generates more than its total yearly electricity demand using renewables. The local people are known as Orcadians and have a distinctive dialect of Insular Scots and a rich inheritance of folklore. There is an abundance of marine and avian wildlife.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Prehistory 2.2 Iron Age 2.3 Norwegian rule 2.4 Annexation
Annexation
by Scotland 2.5 20th century 2.6 Overview of population trends

3 Geography 4 Islands

4.1 The Mainland 4.2 The North Isles 4.3 The South Isles

5 Geology 6 Climate 7 Politics 8 Economy

8.1 Power 8.2 Transport

8.2.1 Air 8.2.2 Ferry

8.3 Media 8.4 Festivals

9 Language, literature and folklore 10 Orcadians 11 Natural history 12 See also 13 References

13.1 Footnotes 13.2 Citations 13.3 General references

14 Further reading 15 External links

Etymology[edit]

Blaeu's 1654 map of Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland. Map makers at this time continued to use the original Latin name "Orcades" .

Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massilia visited Britain – probably sometime between 322 and 285 BCE – and described it as triangular in shape, with a northern tip called Orcas.[10] This may have referred to Dunnet Head, from which Orkney
Orkney
is visible.[11] Writing in the 1st century AD, the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela
Pomponius Mela
called the islands Orcades, as did Tacitus
Tacitus
in 98 AD, claiming that his father-in-law Agricola had "discovered and subjugated the Orcades hitherto unknown"[11][12] (although both Mela and Pliny had previously referred to the islands.[10]) Etymologists usually interpret the element orc- as a Pictish tribal name meaning "young pig" or "young boar".[Notes 3][14] Speakers of Old Irish referred to the islands as Insi Orc "island of the pigs".[15][16] The archipelago is known as Ynysoedd Erch in modern Welsh and Arcaibh in modern Scottish Gaelic, the -aibh representing a fossilized prepositional case ending. The Anglo-Saxon monk Bede
Bede
refers to the islands as Orcades insulae in his seminal work Ecclesiastical History of the English People.[17] Norwegian settlers arriving from the late ninth century reinterpreted orc as the Old Norse
Old Norse
orkn "seal" and added eyjar "islands" to the end[18] so the name became Orkneyjar "Seal Islands". The plural suffix -jar was later removed in English leaving the modern name "Orkney". According to the Historia Norwegiæ, Orkney
Orkney
was named after an earl called Orkan.[19] The Norse knew Mainland Orkney
Orkney
as Megenland "Mainland" or as Hrossey "Horse Island".[20] The island is sometimes referred to as Pomona (or Pomonia), a name that stems from a sixteenth-century mistranslation by George Buchanan, which has rarely been used locally.[21][22] History[edit] Main article: History of Orkney

Ring of Brodgar, on the island of Mainland, Orkney

Prehistory[edit] Main article: Prehistoric Orkney A charred hazelnut shell, recovered in 2007 during excavations in Tankerness on the Mainland has been dated to 6820–6660 BC indicating the presence of Mesolithic
Mesolithic
nomadic tribes.[23] The earliest known permanent settlement is at Knap of Howar, a Neolithic
Neolithic
farmstead on the island of Papa Westray, which dates from 3500 BC. The village of Skara Brae, Europe's best-preserved Neolithic
Neolithic
settlement, is believed to have been inhabited from around 3100 BC.[24] Other remains from that era include the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Maeshowe
Maeshowe
passage grave, the Ring of Brodgar
Ring of Brodgar
and other standing stones. Many of the Neolithic
Neolithic
settlements were abandoned around 2500 BC, possibly due to changes in the climate.[25][26][27] During the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
fewer large stone structures were built although the great ceremonial circles continued in use[28] as metalworking was slowly introduced to Britain from Europe over a lengthy period.[29][30] There are relatively few Orcadian sites dating from this era although there is the impressive Plumcake Mound near the Ring of Brodgar and various islands sites such as Tofts Ness on Sanday and the remains of two houses on Holm of Faray.[31][32] Iron Age[edit]

Midhowe Broch
Midhowe Broch
on the west coast of Rousay

Excavations at Quanterness on the Mainland have revealed an Atlantic roundhouse built about 700 BC and similar finds have been made at Bu on the Mainland and Pierowall
Pierowall
Quarry
Quarry
on Westray.[33] The most impressive Iron Age
Iron Age
structures of Orkney
Orkney
are the ruins of later round towers called "brochs" and their associated settlements such as the Broch
Broch
of Burroughston[34] and Broch
Broch
of Gurness. The nature and origin of these buildings is a subject of ongoing debate. Other structures from this period include underground storehouses, and aisled roundhouses, the latter usually in association with earlier broch sites.[35][36] During the Roman invasion of Britain the "King of Orkney" was one of 11 British leaders who is said to have submitted to the Emperor Claudius
Claudius
in AD 43 at Colchester.[37][Notes 4] After the Agricolan fleet had come and gone, possibly anchoring at Shapinsay, direct Roman influence seems to have been limited to trade rather than conquest.[40] By the late Iron Age, Orkney
Orkney
was part of the Pictish kingdom, and although the archaeological remains from this period are less impressive there is every reason to suppose the fertile soils and rich seas of Orkney
Orkney
provided the Picts
Picts
with a comfortable living.[40][Notes 5] The Dalriadic Gaels
Gaels
began to influence the islands towards the close of the Pictish era, perhaps principally through the role of Celtic missionaries, as evidenced by several islands bearing the epithet "Papa" in commemoration of these preachers.[42] However, before the Gaelic presence could establish itself the Picts
Picts
were gradually dispossessed by the Norsemen
Norsemen
from the late 8th century onwards. The nature of this transition is controversial, and theories range from peaceful integration to enslavement and genocide.[43] Norwegian rule[edit]

According to the Orkneyinga Saga, Harald Fairhair (on the left) took control of Orkney
Orkney
in 875.

Both Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
saw a significant influx of Norwegian settlers during the late 8th and early 9th centuries. Vikings made the islands the headquarters of their pirate expeditions carried out against Norway and the coasts of mainland Scotland. In response, Norwegian king Harald Fairhair (Harald Hårfagre) annexed the Northern Isles, comprising Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland, in 875. (It is clear that this story, which appears in the Orkneyinga Saga, is based on the later voyages of Magnus Barelegs and some scholars believe it to be apocryphal.)[44] Rognvald Eysteinsson
Rognvald Eysteinsson
received Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland from Harald as an earldom as reparation for the death of his son in battle in Scotland, and then passed the earldom on to his brother Sigurd the Mighty.[45] However, Sigurd's line barely survived him and it was Torf-Einarr, Rognvald's son by a slave, who founded a dynasty that controlled the islands for centuries after his death.[46][Notes 6] He was succeeded by his son Thorfinn Skull-splitter and during this time the deposed Norwegian King Eric Bloodaxe
Eric Bloodaxe
often used Orkney
Orkney
as a raiding base before being killed in 954. Thorfinn's death and presumed burial at the broch of Hoxa, on South Ronaldsay, led to a long period of dynastic strife.[48][49]

Artist's conception of King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway, who forcibly Christianised Orkney.[50] Painting by Peter Nicolai Arbo.

Initially a pagan culture, detailed information about the turn to the Christian religion to the islands of Scotland
Scotland
during the Norse-era is elusive.[51] The Orkneyinga Saga
Orkneyinga Saga
suggests the islands were Christianised by Olaf Tryggvasson in 995 when he stopped at South Walls on his way from Ireland
Ireland
to Norway. The King summoned the jarl Sigurd the Stout[Notes 7] and said, "I order you and all your subjects to be baptised. If you refuse, I'll have you killed on the spot and I swear I will ravage every island with fire and steel." Unsurprisingly, Sigurd agreed and the islands became Christian at a stroke,[50] receiving their own bishop in the early 11th century.[Notes 8][Notes 9] Thorfinn the Mighty was a son of Sigurd and a grandson of King Máel Coluim mac Cináeda (Malcolm II of Scotland). Along with Sigurd's other sons he ruled Orkney
Orkney
during the first half of the 11th century and extended his authority over a small maritime empire stretching from Dublin
Dublin
to Shetland. Thorfinn died around 1065 and his sons Paul and Erlend succeeded him, fighting at the Battle of Stamford Bridge
Battle of Stamford Bridge
in 1066.[56] Paul and Erlend quarreled as adults and this dispute carried on to the next generation. The martyrdom of Magnus Erlendsson, who was killed in April 1116 by his cousin Haakon Paulsson, resulted in the building of St. Magnus Cathedral, still today a dominating feature of Kirkwall.[Notes 10][Notes 11]

St Magnus Cathedral
St Magnus Cathedral
in Kirkwall

Unusually, from c. 1100 onwards the Norse jarls owed allegiance both to Norway for Orkney
Orkney
and to the Scottish crown through their holdings as Earls of Caithness.[59] In 1231 the line of Norse earls, unbroken since Rognvald, ended with Jon Haraldsson's murder in Thurso.[60] The Earldom of Caithness
Caithness
was granted to Magnus, second son of the Earl
Earl
of Angus, whom Haakon IV of Norway
Haakon IV of Norway
confirmed as Earl
Earl
of Orkney
Orkney
in 1236.[61] In 1290, the death of the child princess Margaret, Maid of Norway in Orkney, en route to mainland Scotland, created a disputed succession that led to the Wars of Scottish Independence.[62][Notes 12] In 1379 the earldom passed to the Sinclair family, who were also barons of Roslin near Edinburgh.[63][Notes 13] Evidence of the Viking
Viking
presence is widespread, and includes the settlement at the Brough of Birsay,[66] the vast majority of place names,[67] and the runic inscriptions at Maeshowe.[Notes 14] Annexation
Annexation
by Scotland[edit]

James III and Margaret, whose betrothal led to Orkney
Orkney
passing from Norway to Scotland.

In 1468 Orkney
Orkney
was pledged by Christian I, in his capacity as King of Norway, as security against the payment of the dowry of his daughter Margaret, betrothed to James III of Scotland. However the money was never paid, and Orkney
Orkney
was annexed by the Kingdom of Scotland
Scotland
in 1472. [Notes 15] The history of Orkney
Orkney
prior to this time is largely the history of the ruling aristocracy. From now on the ordinary people emerge with greater clarity. An influx of Scottish entrepreneurs helped to create a diverse and independent community that included farmers, fishermen and merchants that called themselves comunitas Orcadie and who proved themselves increasingly able to defend their rights against their feudal overlords.[71][72] From at least the 16th century, boats from mainland Scotland
Scotland
and the Netherlands dominated the local herring fishery. There is little evidence of an Orcadian fleet until the 19th century but it grew rapidly and 700 boats were involved by the 1840s with Stronsay
Stronsay
and later Stromness
Stromness
becoming leading centres of development. White fish never became as dominant as in other Scottish ports.[73] In the 17th century, Orcadians formed the overwhelming majority of employees of the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
in Canada. The harsh climate of Orkney
Orkney
and the Orcadian reputation for sobriety and their boat handling skills made them ideal candidates for the rigours of the Canadian north.[74] During this period, burning kelp briefly became a mainstay of the islands' economy. For example on Shapinsay
Shapinsay
over 3,000 long tons (3,048 t) of burned seaweed were produced per annum to make soda ash, bringing in £20,000 to the local economy.[75] The industry collapsed suddenly in 1830 after the removal of tariffs on imported alkali.[76] Agricultural improvements beginning in the 17th century resulted in the enclosure of the commons and ultimately in the Victoria era the emergence of large and well-managed farms using a five-shift rotation system and producing high-quality beef cattle.[77] During the 18th century Jacobite risings, Orkney
Orkney
was largely Jacobite in its sympathies. At the end of the 1715 rebellion, a large number of Jacobites who had fled north from mainland Scotland
Scotland
sought refuge on Orkney
Orkney
and were helped on to safety in Sweden.[78] In 1745, the Jacobite lairds on the islands ensured that Orkney
Orkney
remained pro-Jacobite in outlook, and was a safe place to land supplies from Spain to aid their cause. Orkney
Orkney
was the last place in the British Isles that held out for the Jacobites and was not retaken by the British Government until 24 May 1746, over a month after the defeat of the main Jacobite army at Culloden.[79] 20th century[edit]

The Italian Chapel
Italian Chapel
on Lamb Holm
Lamb Holm
was built and decorated by Italian prisoners of war working on the Churchill Barriers.[80]

Orkney
Orkney
was the site of a Royal Navy
Royal Navy
base at Scapa Flow, which played a major role in World War I and II. After the Armistice
Armistice
in 1918, the German High Seas Fleet
German High Seas Fleet
was transferred in its entirety to Scapa Flow to await a decision on its future. The German sailors opened the sea-cocks and scuttled all the ships. Most ships were salvaged, but the remaining wrecks are now a favoured haunt of recreational divers. One month into World War II, a German U-boat
U-boat
sank the Royal Navy battleship HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow. As a result, barriers were built to close most of the access channels; these had the additional advantage of creating causeways enabling travellers to go from island to island by road instead of being obliged to rely on ferries. The causeways were constructed by Italian prisoners of war, who also constructed the ornate Italian Chapel.[80] The navy base became run down after the war, eventually closing in 1957. The problem of a declining population was significant in the post-war years, though in the last decades of the 20th century there was a recovery and life in Orkney
Orkney
focused on growing prosperity and the emergence of a relatively classless society.[81] Orkney
Orkney
was rated as the best place to live in Scotland
Scotland
in both 2013 and 2014 according to the Halifax Quality of Life survey.[82] Overview of population trends[edit] In the modern era, population peaked in the mid 19th century at just over 32,000 and declined for a century thereafter to a low of fewer than 18,000 in the 1970s. Declines were particularly significant in the outlying islands, some of which remain vulnerable to ongoing losses. Although Orkney
Orkney
is in many ways very distinct from the other islands and archipelagos of Scotland
Scotland
these trends are very similar to those experienced elsewhere.[83][84] The archipelago's population grew by 11% in the decade to 2011 as recorded by the census.[4][85] During the same period Scottish island populations as a whole grew by 4% to 103,702.[86]

Historical population

Year Pop. ±% p.a.

1801 24,445 —    

1811 23,238 −0.51%

1821 26,979 +1.50%

1831 28,847 +0.67%

1841 30,507 +0.56%

1851 31,455 +0.31%

1861 32,395 +0.29%

1881 32,044 −0.05%

1911 25,897 −0.71%

1921 24,111 −0.71%

1931 22,077 −0.88%

1951 21,255 −0.19%

1961 18,747 −1.25%

1971 17,070 −0.93%

1981 18,194 +0.64%

1991 19,644 +0.77%

2001 19,245 −0.20%

2011 21,349 +1.04%

Source: [84]

Geography[edit]

Map of Orkney
Orkney
showing main transport routes

Orkney
Orkney
is separated from the mainland of Scotland
Scotland
by the Pentland Firth, a 10-kilometre (6.2 mi) wide seaway between Brough Ness on the island of South Ronaldsay
South Ronaldsay
and Duncansby Head
Duncansby Head
in Caithness. Orkney lies between 58°41′ and 59°24′ North, and 2°22′ and 3°26′ West, measuring 80 kilometres (50 mi) from northeast to southwest and 47 kilometres (29 mi) from east to west, and covers 975 square kilometres (376 sq mi).[87][88] The islands are mainly low-lying except for some sharply rising sandstone hills on Hoy, Mainland and Rousay
Rousay
and rugged cliffs on some western coasts. Nearly all of the islands have lochs, but the watercourses are merely streams draining the high land. The coastlines are indented, and the islands themselves are divided from each other by straits generally called "sounds" or "firths".[87][89] The tidal currents, or "roosts" as some of them are called locally,[90] off many of the isles are swift, with frequent whirlpools.[Notes 16] The islands are notable for the absence of trees, which is partly accounted for by the amount of wind.[92] Islands[edit] Main article: List of Orkney
Orkney
islands The Mainland[edit] Main article: Mainland, Orkney

Stromness
Stromness
on the Mainland is the second largest settlement on Orkney.

The Mainland is the largest island of Orkney. Both of Orkney's burghs, Kirkwall
Kirkwall
and Stromness, are on this island, which is also the heart of Orkney's transportation system, with ferry and air connections to the other islands and to the outside world. The island is more densely populated (75% of Orkney's population) than the other islands and has much fertile farmland. The Mainland is split into areas called East and West Mainland. These areas are determined by whether they lie East or West of Kirkwall. The bulk of the mainland lies West of Kirkwall, with comparatively little land lying East of Kirkwall. West Mainland parishes are: Stromness, Sandwick, Birsay, Harray, Stenness, Orphir, Evie, Rendall
Rendall
and Firth. East Mainland Parishes are: St Ola, Tankerness, St Andrews, Holm and Deerness. The island is mostly low-lying (especially East Mainland) but with coastal cliffs to the north and west and two sizeable lochs: the Loch of Harray
Harray
and the Loch
Loch
of Stenness. The Mainland contains the remnants of numerous Neolithic, Pictish and Viking
Viking
constructions. Four of the main Neolithic
Neolithic
sites are included in the Heart of Neolithic
Neolithic
Orkney World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1999. The other islands in the group are classified as north or south of the Mainland. Exceptions are the remote islets of Sule Skerry
Sule Skerry
and Sule Stack, which lie 60 kilometres (37 mi) west of the archipelago, but form part of Orkney
Orkney
for local government purposes. In island names, the suffix "a" or "ay" represents the Norse ey, meaning "island". Those described as "holms" are very small. The North Isles[edit]

North Ronaldsay
North Ronaldsay
sheep are a semi-feral breed that has evolved to eat seaweed.[93] Their unique genetic inheritance makes them of interest to conservationists.[94]

The northern group of islands is the most extensive and consists of a large number of moderately sized islands, linked to the Mainland by ferries and by air services. Farming, fishing and tourism are the main sources of income for most of the islands. The most northerly is North Ronaldsay, which lies 4 kilometres (2 mi) beyond its nearest neighbour, Sanday. To the west is Westray, which has a population of 550. It is connected by ferry and air to Papa Westray, also known as "Papay". Eday
Eday
is at the centre of the North Isles. The centre of the island is moorland and the island's main industries have been peat extraction and limestone quarrying. Rousay, Egilsay
Egilsay
and Gairsay
Gairsay
lie north of the west Mainland across the Eynhallow
Eynhallow
Sound. Rousay
Rousay
is well known for its ancient monuments, including the Quoyness chambered cairn and Egilsay
Egilsay
has the ruins of the only round-towered church in Orkney. Wyre to the south-east contains the site of Cubbie Roo's castle. Stronsay
Stronsay
and Papa Stronsay lie much further to the east across the Stronsay
Stronsay
Firth. Auskerry
Auskerry
is south of Stronsay
Stronsay
and has a population of only five. Shapinsay
Shapinsay
and its Balfour Castle
Balfour Castle
are a short distance north of Kirkwall. Other small uninhabited islands in the North Isles
North Isles
group include: Calf of Eday, Damsay, Eynhallow, Faray, Helliar Holm, Holm of Faray, Holm of Huip, Holm of Papa, Holm of Scockness, Kili Holm, Linga Holm, Muckle Green Holm, Rusk Holm
Rusk Holm
and Sweyn Holm.

Hoy
Hoy
Lighthouse on Graemsay

The South Isles[edit] The southern group of islands surrounds Scapa Flow. Hoy
Hoy
is the second largest of the Orkney
Orkney
Isles and Ward Hill at its northern end is the highest elevation in the archipelago. The Old Man of Hoy
Hoy
is a well-known seastack. Burray
Burray
lies to the east of Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
and is linked by causeway to South Ronaldsay, which hosts the cultural events, the Festival of the Horse and the Boys' Ploughing Match
Ploughing Match
on the third Saturday in August.[95] It is also the location of the Neolithic Tomb of the Eagles. Graemsay
Graemsay
and Flotta
Flotta
are both linked by ferry to the Mainland and Hoy, and the latter is known for its large oil terminal. South Walls
South Walls
has a 19th-century Martello tower
Martello tower
and is connected to Hoy
Hoy
by the Ayre. South Ronaldsay, Burray, Glims Holm, and Lamb Holm
Lamb Holm
are connected by road to the Mainland by the Churchill Barriers. Uninhabited South Islands include: Calf of Flotta, Cava, Copinsay, Corn Holm, Fara, Glims Holm, Hunda, Lamb Holm, Rysa Little, Switha
Switha
and Swona. The Pentland Skerries lie further south, closer to the Scottish mainland. Geology[edit] Main article: Geology of Orkney

The Old Man of Hoy

The superficial rock of Orkney
Orkney
is almost entirely Old Red Sandstone, mostly of Middle Devonian
Devonian
age.[96] As in the neighbouring mainland county of Caithness, this sandstone rests upon the metamorphic rocks of the Moine series, as may be seen on the Mainland, where a narrow strip is exposed between Stromness
Stromness
and Inganess, and again in the small island of Graemsay; they are represented by grey gneiss and granite.[97]

Geology of Orkney

The Middle Devonian
Devonian
is divided into three main groups. The lower part of the sequence, mostly Eifelian in age, is dominated by lacustrine beds of the lower and upper Stromness
Stromness
Flagstones that were deposited in Lake Orcadie.[98] The later Rousay
Rousay
flagstone formation is found throughout much of the North and South Isles and East Mainland.[99] The Old Man of Hoy
Hoy
is formed from sandstone of the uppermost Eday group that is up to 800 metres (870 yd) thick in places. It lies unconformably upon steeply inclined flagstones, the interpretation of which is a matter of continuing debate.[99][100] The Devonian
Devonian
and older rocks of Orkney
Orkney
are cut by a series of WSW-ENE to N-S trending faults, many of which were active during deposition of the Devonian
Devonian
sequences.[101] A strong synclinal fold traverses Eday and Shapinsay, the axis trending north-south. Middle Devonian
Devonian
basaltic volcanic rocks are found on western Hoy, on Deerness
Deerness
in eastern Mainland and on Shapinsay. Correlation between the Hoy
Hoy
volcanics and the other two exposures has been proposed, but differences in chemistry means this remains uncertain.[102] Lamprophyre
Lamprophyre
dykes of Late Permian
Permian
age are found throughout Orkney.[103] Glacial striation
Glacial striation
and the presence of chalk and flint erratics that originated from the bed of the North Sea demonstrate the influence of ice action on the geomorphology of the islands. Boulder clay is also abundant and moraines cover substantial areas.[104] Climate[edit] Orkney
Orkney
has a cool temperate climate that is remarkably mild and steady for such a northerly latitude, due to the influence of the Gulf Stream.[105] The average temperature for the year is 8 °C (46 °F); for winter 4 °C (39 °F) and for summer 12 °C (54 °F).[106] The average annual rainfall varies from 850 millimetres (33 in) to 940 millimetres (37 in).[106] Winds are a key feature of the climate and even in summer there are almost constant breezes. In winter, there are frequent strong winds, with an average of 52 hours of gales being recorded annually.[107] To tourists, one of the fascinations of the islands is their "nightless" summers. On the longest day, the sun rises at 04:00 and sets at 22:29 BST and complete darkness is unknown. This long twilight is known in the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
as the "simmer dim".[108] Winter nights are long. On the shortest day the sun rises at 09:05 and sets at 15:16.[109] At this time of year the aurora borealis can occasionally be seen on the northern horizon during moderate auroral activity.[110] The averages table below is for largest settlement Kirkwall's weather station.

Climate data for Kirkwall, 26m asl, 1981–2010, Extremes 1951–

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 12.2 (54) 12.8 (55) 18.9 (66) 18.3 (64.9) 22.0 (71.6) 22.8 (73) 25.6 (78.1) 24.8 (76.6) 22.8 (73) 19.4 (66.9) 14.5 (58.1) 12.8 (55) 25.6 (78.1)

Average high °C (°F) 6.4 (43.5) 6.4 (43.5) 7.6 (45.7) 9.5 (49.1) 12.0 (53.6) 14.0 (57.2) 15.9 (60.6) 16.0 (60.8) 14.1 (57.4) 11.4 (52.5) 8.6 (47.5) 6.8 (44.2) 10.7 (51.3)

Average low °C (°F) 1.9 (35.4) 1.7 (35.1) 2.4 (36.3) 3.8 (38.8) 5.6 (42.1) 8.1 (46.6) 10.2 (50.4) 10.3 (50.5) 8.8 (47.8) 6.7 (44.1) 4.2 (39.6) 2.3 (36.1) 5.5 (41.9)

Record low °C (°F) −7.8 (18) −7 (19) −6.8 (19.8) −4.9 (23.2) −2.1 (28.2) 1.0 (33.8) 3.4 (38.1) 3.7 (38.7) 0.5 (32.9) −1.6 (29.1) −5.5 (22.1) −7.6 (18.3) −7.8 (18)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 109.7 (4.319) 93.3 (3.673) 95.7 (3.768) 60.3 (2.374) 48.0 (1.89) 52.7 (2.075) 57.4 (2.26) 66.3 (2.61) 95.3 (3.752) 126.0 (4.961) 126.0 (4.961) 107.8 (4.244) 1,038.5 (40.886)

Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 20.1 16.8 17.9 13.4 10.6 10.7 11.6 12.5 16.2 19.6 20.8 18.5 188.7

Mean monthly sunshine hours 32.2 59.3 98.2 136.8 190.0 148.6 132.2 129.7 105.3 75.8 40.1 24.5 1,172.4

Source #1: Met Office[111]

Source #2: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI[112]

Politics[edit] Orkney
Orkney
is represented in the House of Commons as part of the Orkney and Shetland
Shetland
constituency, which elects one Member of Parliament (MP), the current incumbent being Alistair Carmichael. This seat has been held by the Liberal Democrats or their predecessors the Liberal Party since 1950, longer than any other they represent in Great Britain.[113][114][115] In the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
the Orkney
Orkney
constituency elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
(MSP) by the first past the post system. The current MSP is Liam McArthur of the Liberal Democrats.[116] Before McArthur the MSP was Jim Wallace, who was previously Deputy First Minister.[117] Orkney
Orkney
is within the Highlands and Islands electoral region. Orkney Islands Council
Orkney Islands Council
consists of 21 members, 20 of whom are independent, that is they do not stand as representatives of a political party. The remaining councillor represents the Green Party.[118][119] The Orkney
Orkney
Movement, a political party that supported devolution for Orkney
Orkney
from the rest of Scotland, contested the 1987 general election as the Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland
Shetland
Movement (a coalition of the Orkney movement and its equivalent for Shetland). The Scottish National Party chose not to contest the seat to give the movement a "free run". Their candidate, John Goodlad, came 4th with 3,095 votes, 14.5% of those cast, but the experiment has not been repeated.[120] In the 2014 Scottish independence referendum 67.2% of voters in Orkney voted No to the question "Should Scotland
Scotland
be an independent country?" This was the highest % No vote in any council area in Scotland.[121] Turnout for the referendum was at 83.7% in Orkney
Orkney
with 10,004 votes cast in the area against independence by comparison to 4,883 votes for independence.[122] Economy[edit] The soil of Orkney
Orkney
is generally very fertile and most of the land is taken up by farms, agriculture being by far the most important sector of the economy and providing employment for a quarter of the workforce.[123] More than 90% of agricultural land is used for grazing for sheep and cattle, with cereal production utilising about 4% (4,200 hectares (10,000 acres)) and woodland occupying only 134 hectares (330 acres).[124] Fishing has declined in importance, but still employed 345 individuals in 2001, about 3.5% of the islands' economically active population, the modern industry concentrating on herring, white fish, lobsters, crabs and other shellfish, and salmon fish farming.[Notes 17] Today, the traditional sectors of the economy export beef, cheese, whisky, beer, fish and other seafood. In recent years there has been growth in other areas including tourism, food and beverage manufacture, jewellery, knitwear, and other crafts production, construction and oil transportation through the Flotta
Flotta
oil terminal.[125] Retailing accounts for 17.5% of total employment,[124] and public services also play a significant role, employing a third of the islands' workforce.[126] In 2007, of the 1,420 VAT
VAT
registered enterprises 55% were in agriculture, forestry and fishing, 12% in manufacturing and construction, 12% in wholesale, retail and repairs, and 5% in hotels and restaurants. A further 5% were public service related.[124] 55% of these businesses employ between 5 and 49 people.[126] Power[edit]

Pelamis on site at EMEC's wave testing site off Billia Croo

Orkney
Orkney
has significant wind and marine energy resources, and renewable energy has recently come into prominence. Although Orkney
Orkney
is connected to the mainland, it generates over 100% of its net power from renewables.[127] This comes mainly from wind turbines situated right across Orkney. The European Marine Energy Centre
European Marine Energy Centre
(EMEC) is a research facility operating a grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo, off the west coast of the Orkney
Orkney
Mainland, and a tidal power test site in the Fall of Warness, off the northern island of Eday.[128] At the official opening of the Eday
Eday
project the site was described as "the first of its kind in the world set up to provide developers of wave and tidal energy devices with a purpose-built performance testing facility."[Notes 18] During 2007 Scottish and Southern Energy
Scottish and Southern Energy
plc in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde
University of Strathclyde
began the implementation of a Regional Power Zone in the Orkney
Orkney
archipelago. This scheme (that may be the first of its kind in the world) involves "active network management" that will make better use of existing infrastructure and allow a further 15MW of new "non-firm generation" output from renewables onto the network.[130][131] Transport[edit] Air[edit] Highland and Islands Airports operates the main airport in Orkney, Kirkwall
Kirkwall
Airport. Loganair, provides services to the Scottish mainland (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness), as well as to Sumburgh Airport in Shetland.[132] Within Orkney, the council operates airfields on most of the larger islands including Stronsay, Eday, North Ronaldsay, Westray, Papa Westray, and Sanday.[133] The shortest scheduled air service in the world, between the islands of Westray
Westray
and Papa Westray, is scheduled at two minutes duration[134] but can take less than one minute if the wind is in the right direction. Ferry[edit]

MV Earl
Earl
Thorfinn arrives at Westray. Orkney Ferries
Orkney Ferries
operate a fleet of inter-island ferries.[135]

Ferries serve both to link Orkney
Orkney
to the rest of Scotland, and also to link together the various islands of the Orkney
Orkney
archipelago. Ferry services operate between Orkney
Orkney
and the Scottish mainland and Shetland on the following routes:

Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope
St Margaret's Hope
(operated by Pentland Ferries) John o' Groats to Burwick on South Ronaldsay
South Ronaldsay
(seasonal passenger only service, operated by John o' Groats Ferries) Lerwick
Lerwick
to Kirkwall
Kirkwall
(operated by NorthLink Ferries) Aberdeen to Kirkwall
Kirkwall
(operated by NorthLink Ferries) Scrabster Harbour, Thurso
Thurso
to Stromness
Stromness
(operated by NorthLink Ferries)

Inter-island ferry services connect all the inhabited islands to Orkney
Orkney
Mainland, and are operated by Orkney
Orkney
Ferries, a company owned by Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council.[132] Media[edit] Orkney
Orkney
is served by a weekly local newspaper, The Orcadian. A local BBC
BBC
radio station, BBC
BBC
Radio Orkney, the local opt-out of BBC Radio Scotland, broadcasts twice daily, with local news and entertainment.[136] Orkney
Orkney
also had a commercial radio station, The Superstation Orkney, which broadcast to Kirkwall
Kirkwall
and parts of the mainland and also to most of Caithness[137] until its closure in November 2014.[138] Moray Firth Radio
Moray Firth Radio
broadcasts throughout Orkney
Orkney
on AM and from an FM transmitter just outside Thurso. The community radio station Caithness
Caithness
FM also broadcasts to Orkney.[139] Orkney
Orkney
is home to the Orkney
Orkney
Library and Archive, located in Kirkwall, Scotland, on the mainland. The Library service provides access to over 145,000 items.[140] They have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles available for loan as well as audiobooks, maps, eBooks, music CDs, and DVDs.[141] Orkney
Orkney
Library and Archive operates a Mobile Library Service that serves the rural parishes and islands of Orkney. The Mobile Library carries a wide range of books and audio books suitable for all ages and is completely free to use.[142] Orkney Library is also popular on Twitter as the rival of another Scottish library in Shetland. Festivals[edit] The islands are the home of several international festivals, including the Orkney International Science Festival in September, a folk festival in May and the St Magnus International Arts Festival in June.[143] Language, literature and folklore[edit]

The Odin Stone

At the beginning of recorded history, the islands were inhabited by the Picts, whose language was Brythonic.[Notes 19] The Ogham
Ogham
script on the Buckquoy spindle-whorl is cited as evidence for the pre-Norse existence of Old Irish in Orkney.[146][Notes 20] After the Norse occupation, the toponymy of Orkney
Orkney
became almost wholly West Norse.[148] The Norse language changed into the local Norn, which lingered until the end of the 18th century, when it finally died out.[147] Norn was replaced by the Orcadian dialect of Insular Scots. This dialect is at a low ebb due to the pervasive influences of television, education, and the large number of incomers. However, attempts are being made by some writers and radio presenters to revitalise its use[149] and the distinctive sing-song accent and many dialect words of Norse origin remain in use.[Notes 21] The Orcadian word most frequently encountered by visitors is peedie, meaning small, which may be derived from the French petit.[151][Notes 22] Orkney
Orkney
has a rich folklore, and many of the former tales concern trows, an Orcadian form of troll that draws on the islands' Scandinavian connections.[153] Local customs in the past included marriage ceremonies at the Odin Stone that formed part of the Stones of Stenness.[154] King Lot in certain versions of the Arthurian legend
Arthurian legend
(e.g., Malory) is ruler of Orkney. His sons Gawaine, Agravaine, Gareth, and Gaheris are major characters in the Matter of Britain. The best known literary figures from modern Orkney
Orkney
are the poet Edwin Muir, the poet and novelist George Mackay Brown, and the novelist Eric Linklater.[155] Orcadians[edit] Main article: Orcadians

The Bridge of Brodgar, Stenness, 1875. By Walter Hugh Patton (1828–1895).

An Orcadian is a native of Orkney, a term that reflects a strongly held identity with a tradition of understatement.[156] Although the annexation of the earldom by Scotland
Scotland
took place over five centuries ago in 1472, some Orcadians regard themselves as Orcadians first and Scots second.[157] However in response to the national identity question in the 2011 Scotland
Scotland
Census, self-reported levels of Scottish identity in Orkney
Orkney
were in line with the national average.[158] The Scottish mainland is often referred to as "Scotland" in Orkney, with "the mainland" referring to Mainland, Orkney.[159] The archipelago also has a distinct culture, with traditions of the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands
such as tartan, clans, bagpipes not indigenous to the culture of the islands.[160] However, at least two tartans with Orkney
Orkney
connections have been registered and a tartan has been designed for Sanday by one of the island's residents,[161][162][163] and there are pipe bands in Orkney.[164][165] Native Orcadians refer to the non-native residents of the islands as "ferry loupers", a term that has been in use for nearly two centuries at least.[166][Notes 23] Natural history[edit]

Seals hauled out at Lyrie Geo on Hoy. Orkney
Orkney
has an abundance of wildlife.

Orkney
Orkney
has an abundance of wildlife, especially of grey and common seals and seabirds such as puffins, kittiwakes, tysties, ravens, and bonxies. Whales, dolphins, and otters are also seen around the coasts. Inland the Orkney
Orkney
vole, a distinct subspecies of the common vole introduced by Neolithic
Neolithic
humans, is an endemic.[167][168] There are five distinct varieties, found on the islands of Sanday, Westray, Rousay, South Ronaldsay, and the Mainland, all the more remarkable as the species is absent on mainland Britain.[169] The coastline is well known for its colourful flowers including sea aster, sea squill, sea thrift, common sea-lavender, bell and common heather. The Scottish primrose is found only on the coasts of Orkney and nearby Caithness
Caithness
and Sutherland.[89][167] Although stands of trees are generally rare, a small forest named Happy Valley with 700 trees and lush gardens was created from a boggy hillside near Stenness during the second half of the 20th century.[170] The North Ronaldsay
North Ronaldsay
sheep is an unusual breed of domesticated animal, subsisting largely on a diet of seaweed, since they are confined to the foreshore for most of the year to conserve the limited grazing inland.[171] The island was also a habitat for the Atlantic walrus until the mid-16th century.[172] The Orkney
Orkney
char (Salvelinus inframundus) used to live in Heldale Water on Hoy. It has been considered locally extinct since 1908.[173][174] The introduction of alien stoats just prior to 2015, a natural predator of the common vole and thus of the Orkney
Orkney
vole,[175][176] may be harming native bird populations.[177] See also[edit]

Timeline of prehistoric Scotland Prehistoric Scotland Battle of Florvåg Bishop of Orkney List of places in Orkney Orkney
Orkney
Club Orkney
Orkney
College Rögnvald Kali Kolsson Udal Law Parishes of Orkney Constitutional status of Orkney, Shetland
Shetland
and the Western Isles Solar eclipse of 1 May 1185

References[edit] Footnotes[edit]

^ "The Orkneys" is used by non- Orcadians and does have historical precedent, yet it is clear that this is frowned upon by the residents.[1] ^ The other independent-run Councils are Shetland
Shetland
and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Moray
Moray
is run by a Conservative/Independent coalition.[8][9] ^ The proto-Celtic root *φorko-, can mean either pig or salmon, thus giving an alternative of "island(s) of (the) salmon".[13] ^ Thomson (2008) suggests that there was an element of Roman "boasting" involved, given that it was known to them that the Orcades lay at the northern extremity of the British Isles.[38] Similarly, Ritchie describes Tacitus' claims that Rome "conquered" Orkney
Orkney
as "a political puff, for there is no evidence of Roman military presence".[39] ^ They were certainly politically organised. Ritchie notes the presence of an Orcadian ruler at the court of a Pictish high king at Inverness
Inverness
in 565 AD.[41] ^ Sigurd The Mighty's son Gurthorm ruled for a single winter after Sigurd's death and died childless. Rognvald's son Hallad inherited the title but, unable to constrain Danish raids on Orkney, he gave up the earldom and returned to Norway, which according to the Orkneyinga Saga "everyone thought was a huge joke."[47] ^ Sigurd the Stout
Sigurd the Stout
was Thorfinn Skull-splitter's grandson. ^ The first recorded bishop was Henry of Lund (also known as "the Fat") who was appointed sometime prior to 1035.[52] The bishopric appears to have been under the authority of the Archbishops of York and of Hamburg-Bremen at different times during the early period and from the mid twelfth century to 1472 was subordinate to the Archbishop of Nidaros (today's Trondheim).[53] ^ When the sagas were written down Orkney
Orkney
had been Christian for 200 years or more[54] and this conversion tale has been described as "blatantly unhistorical".[55] ^ The Scandinavian peoples, relatively recent converts to Christianity, had a tendency to confer martyrdom and sainthood on leading figures of the day who met violent deaths. Magnus and Haakon Paulsson had been co-rulers of Orkney, and although he had a reputation for piety, there is no suggestion that Magnus died for his Christian faith.[57] ^ " St Magnus Cathedral
St Magnus Cathedral
still dominates the Kirkwall
Kirkwall
skyline – a familiar, and comforting sight, to Kirkwallians around the world."[58] ^ It is often believed that the princess's death is associated with the village of St Margaret's Hope
St Margaret's Hope
on South Ronaldsay
South Ronaldsay
but there is no evidence for this other than the coincidence of the name.[62] ^ The notion that Henry the first Sinclair Earl, voyaged to North America many years before Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
has gained some currency of late.[20] The idea is however dismissed out of hand by many scholars. For example, Thomson (2008) states "Henry's fictitious trip to America continues to received a good deal of unfortunate publicity, but it belongs to fantasy rather than real history".[64][65] ^ The Maeshowe
Maeshowe
inscriptions date from the 12th century.[68] ^ Apparently without the knowledge of the Norwegian Rigsraadet (Council of the Realm), Christian pawned Orkney
Orkney
for 50,000 Rhenish guilders. On 28 May the next year he also pawned Shetland
Shetland
for 8,000 Rhenish guilders.[69] He secured a clause in the contract that gave future kings of Norway the right to redeem the islands for a fixed sum of 210 kg of gold or 2,310 kg of silver. Several attempts were made during the 17th and 18th centuries to redeem the islands, without success.[70] ^ For example at the Fall of Warness the tide can run at 4 m/s (7.8 knots).[91] ^ Coull (2003) quotes the old saying that an Orcadian is a farmer with a boat, in contrast to a Shetlander, who is a fisherman with a croft.[73] ^ " The centre offers developers the opportunity to test prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions. Wave and tidal energy converters are connected to the national grid via seabed cables running from open-water test berths into an onshore substation. Testing takes place in a wide range of sea and weather conditions, with comprehensive round-the-clock monitoring."[129] ^ There is convincing place-name evidence for the Picts' use of Brythonic or P-Celtic, although no written records survive. No certain knowledge of any pre- Pictish language
Pictish language
exists anywhere in Scotland, but there may well have been times of significant overlap.[144] For example, the early Scottish Earls spoke Gaelic when the majority of their subjects spoke Norn, and both of these languages were then replaced by Insular Scots. It is therefore possible that the Pictish aristocracy spoke one language and the common folk an unknown precursor such as Proto-Celtic.[145] ^ Only two Q-Celtic words exist in the language of modern Orcadians – "iper" from eabhar, meaning a midden slurry, and "keero" from caora – used to describe a small sheep in the North Isles.[147] ^ Lamb (2003) counted 60 words "with correlates in Old Norse
Old Norse
only" and 500 Scots expressions in common use in the 1950s.[150] ^ The word is of uncertain origin and has also been attested in the Lothians and Fife
Fife
in the 19th century.[152] ^ The expression "ferry louper" has a literal meaning of "ferry jumper" i.e. one who has jumped off a ferry as distinct from a native.

Citations[edit]

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Scotland
(15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland
Scotland
- Release 1C (Part Two). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland’s inhabited islands". Retrieved 17 August 2013. ^ Haswell-Smith (2004) pp. 334, 502. ^ Lamb, Raymond "Kirkwall" in Omand (2003) p. 184. ^ Thompson (2008) p. 220. ^ MacMahon, Peter and Walker, Helen (18 May 2007) "Winds of change sweep Scots town halls". Edinburgh. The Scotsman. ^ "Political Groups" Shetland
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Islands Council. Retrieved 23 April 2010. ^ a b Breeze, David J. "The ancient geography of Scotland" in Smith and Banks (2002) pp. 11–13. ^ a b "Early Historical References to Orkney" Orkneyjar.com. Retrieved 27 June 2009. ^ Tacitus
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(c. 98) Agricola. Chapter 10. "ac simul incognitas ad id tempus insulas, quas Orcadas vocant, invenit domuitque". ^ " Proto-Celtic – English Word List" (pdf) (12 June 2002) University of Wales. p. 101. ^ Waugh, Doreen J. " Orkney
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Place-names" in Omand (2003) p. 116. ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959) [1] Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Retrieved 3 July 2009. ^ "The Origin of Orkney" Orkneyjar.com. Retrieved 27 June 2009. ^ Plummer, Carolus (2003). Venerabilis Baedae Historiam Ecclesiasticam (Ecclesiastical History of Bede. Gorgias Press. ISBN 978-1-59333-028-6.  ^ Thomson (2008) p. 42. ^ "A History of Norway", vol. XIII Translated by Devra Kunin pp. 7–8 ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 354. ^ Buchanan, George (1582) Rerum Scoticarum Historia: The First Book The University of California, Irvine. Revised 8 March 2003. Retrieved 4 October 2007. ^ "Pomona or Mainland?" Orkneyjar.com. Retrieved 4 October 2007. ^ " Hazelnut
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Orkneyinga Saga
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Hebrides
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Viking
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Kirkwall
Extremes". KNMI.  ^ "Alistair Carmichael: MP for Orkney
Orkney
and Shetland" alistaircarmichael.org.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2009. ^ "Candidates and Constituency Assessments". alba.org.uk – "The almanac of Scottish elections and politics". Retrieved 9 February 2010. ^ "The Untouchable Orkney
Orkney
& Shetland
Shetland
Isles " (1 October 2009) www.snptacticalvoting.com Retrieved 9 February 2010. Archived 29 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ " Liam McArthur MSP" Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 8 September 2009. ^ "Jim Wallace" Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 8 September 2009. ^ "Social Work Inspection Agency: Performance Inspection Orkney Islands Council 2006. Chapter 2: Context." The Scottish Government. Retrieved 8 September 2009. ^ " Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council : Election 2017 Results". BBC
BBC
News. Retrieved 8 May 2017.  ^ "Candidates and Constituency Assessments: Orkney
Orkney
(Highland Region)" alba.org.uk. Retrieved 11 January 2008 Archived 18 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ " BBC
BBC
News – In maps: How close was the Scottish referendum vote?". BBC
BBC
News. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.  ^ Severin Carrell. "Scottish independence: no campaigners buoyed by first referendum results". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.  ^ Chalmers, Jim "Agriculture in Orkney
Orkney
Today" in Omand (2003) p. 127, 133 quoting the Scottish Executive Agricultural Census of 2001 and stating that 80% of the land area is farmed if rough grazing is included. ^ a b c " Orkney
Orkney
Economic Review No. 23." (2008) Kirkwall. Orkney Islands Council. ^ " Orkney
Orkney
Business Directory". Orkney.com. Retrieved 12 May 2012. ^ a b " Orkney
Orkney
Economic Update" (1999) (pdf) HIE. Retrieved 20 September 2009. ^ Llewelyn, Robert. " Orkney
Orkney
Island of the future". Fully Charged. Robert Llewelyn. Retrieved 20 May 2015.  ^ "European Marine Energy Centre". Retrieved 3 February 2007.  ^ "First Minister Opens New Tidal Energy Facility at EMEC" (Press release). Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2007.  ^ Registered Power Zone Annual Report for period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007. (2007) Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution and Southern Electric Power Distribution. ^ Facilitate generation connections on Orkney
Orkney
by automatic distribution network management (pdf) DTI. Retrieved 18 October 2007. Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b "Getting Here" Visit Orkney. Retrieved 13 September 2009. ^ "Air Travel" Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council. Retrieved 13 September 2009. ^ "Getting Here" Westray
Westray
and Papa Westray
Papa Westray
Craft and Tourist Associations. Retrieved 7 January 2010. ^ "Welcome to Orkney
Orkney
Ferries". Orkney Ferries
Orkney Ferries
Ltd. Retrieved 16 May 2012. ^ "Radio Orkney". BBC. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ "Superstation Orkney" thesuperstation.co.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2009 ^ Superstation Orkney
Orkney
ends community radio broadcasting, RadioToday, 16 November 2014 ^ "Welcome to the Caithness
Caithness
F.M. website" Caithness
Caithness
FM. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ " Orkney
Orkney
Library Homepage" ^ " Kirkwall
Kirkwall
Library" ^ " Orkney
Orkney
Library Mobile Service" ^ "Do not disturb: Oakhurst Cottage, Orkney", The Scotsman, 3 August 2015. Retrieved 03 August 2015. ^ Clarkson (2008) pp. 30–34. ^ Lamb, Gregor "The Orkney
Orkney
Tongue" in Omand (2003) pp. 248–49. ^ Forsyth, Katherine (1995). "The ogham-inscribed spindle-whorl from Buckquoy: evidence for the Irish language
Irish language
in pre- Viking
Viking
Orkney?" (PDF). Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. ARCHway. 125: 677–96. Retrieved 12 May 2012.  ^ a b Lamb, Gregor "The Orkney
Orkney
Tongue" in Omand (2003) p. 250. ^ Lamb, Gregor (1995) Testimony of the Orkneyingar: Place Names of Orkney. Byrgisey. ISBN 0-9513443-4-X ^ " The Orcadian Dialect" Orkneyjar. Retrieved 4 October 2008. ^ Lamb, Gregor "The Orkney
Orkney
Tongue" in Omand (2003) pp. 250–53. ^ Clackson, Stephen (25 November 2004) The Orcadian. Kirkwall. ^ Grant, W. and Murison, D.D. (1931–1976) Scottish National Dictionary. Scottish National Dictionary Association. ISBN 0-08-034518-2. ^ "The Trows". Orkneyjar. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ Muir, Tom "Customs and Traditions" in Omand (2003) p. 270. ^ Drever, David " Orkney
Orkney
Literature" in Omand (2003) p. 257. ^ "The Orcadians – The people of Orkney" Orkneyjar. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ "‘We are Orcadian first, and Scottish second’ many people would tell me during the course of my fieldwork." McClanahan, Angela (2004) The Heart of Neolithic
Neolithic
Orkney
Orkney
in its Contemporary Contexts: A case study in heritage management and community values Historic Scotland/University of Manchester, p. 25 (§3.47) [2] Retrieved 8 January 2010. ^ http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ethnicity-identity-language-and-religion ^ "Where is Orkney?" Orkneyjar. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ Orkneyjar FAQ Orkneyjar. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ " Orkney
Orkney
tartan" tartans.scotland.net Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ "Sanday Tartan" www.clackson.com. Retrieved 2 June 2007. Archived 11 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Clackson tartan" tartans.scotland.net. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ " Kirkwall
Kirkwall
City Pipe Band" kirkwallcity.com. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ " Stromness
Stromness
RBL Pipe Band" stromnesspipeband.co.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ Vedder, David (1832) Orcadian Sketches. Edinburgh. William Tait. ^ a b "Northern Isles". SNH. Retrieved 27 September 2009. ^ Benvie (2004) pp. 126–38. ^ Haynes, S., Jaarola M., & Searle, J.B. (2003). "Phylogeography of the common vole (Microtus arvalis) with particular emphasis on the colonization of the Orkney
Orkney
archipelago" (abstract page). Molecular Ecology. 12 (4): 951–956. doi:10.1046/j.1365-294X.2003.01795.x. PMID 12753214. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) Retrieved 27 September 2009. ^ "Boggy hillside reborn as Orkney
Orkney
forest reserve". (27 May 2011) BBC. Retrieved 27 May 2011. ^ "North Ronaldsay". Sheep Breeds. Seven Sisters Sheep Centre. Retrieved 23 April 2009.  ^ Trichecodon huxlei (Mammalia: Odobenidae) in the Pleistocene of southeastern United States., Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 122:129–142.  ^ "Salvelinus inframundus: Regan, 1909" – FishBase. Retrieved 5 January 2013. ^ "Salvelinus inframundus". IUCN Red List. Retrieved 5 January 2013. ^ Orkney vole
Orkney vole
is from Belgium ^ Orkney
Orkney
Fox in Neolithic
Neolithic
era ^ Orkney
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Stoats

General references[edit]

Armit, Ian (2006) Scotland's Hidden History. Stroud. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3764-X Beuermann, Ian "Jarla Sǫgur Orkneyja. Status and power of the earls of Orkney
Orkney
according to their sagas" in Steinsland, Gro; Sigurðsson, Jón Viðar; Rekda, Jan Erik and Beuermann, Ian (eds) (2011) Ideology and power in the Viking
Viking
and Middle Ages: Scandinavia, Iceland, Ireland, Orkney
Orkney
and the Faeroes . The Northern World: North Europe and the Baltic c. 400–1700 A.D. Peoples, Economics and Cultures. 52. Leiden. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-20506-2 Baynes, John (1970) The Jacobite Rising of 1715. London. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-93565-4 Benvie, Neil (2004) Scotland's Wildlife. London. Aurum Press. ISBN 1-85410-978-2 Ballin Smith, B. and Banks, I. (eds) (2002) In the Shadow of the Brochs, the Iron Age
Iron Age
in Scotland. Stroud. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2517-X Ballin Smith, Beverley; Taylor, Simon; and Williams, Gareth
Gareth
(eds) (2007) West Over Sea: Studies in Scandinavian Sea-borne Expansion and Settlement Before 1300. Brill. ISBN 90-04-15893-6 Clarkson, Tim (2008) The Picts: A History. Stroud. The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-4392-8 Duffy, Christopher (2003) The 45: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Untold Story of the Jacobite Rising. London. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-304-35525-9 Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.  Moffat, Alistair (2005) Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland
Scotland
Before History. London. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0500051337 Omand, Donald (ed.) (2003) The Orkney
Orkney
Book. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-254-9 Thomson, William P.L. (2008) The New History of Orkney. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 978-1-84158-696-0 Whitaker's Almanack 1991 (1990). London. J. Whitaker & Sons. ISBN 0-85021-205-7 Wickham-Jones, Caroline (2007) Orkney: A Historical Guide. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-596-3  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). " Orkney
Orkney
Islands". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Further reading[edit]

Batey, C.E. et al (eds.) (1995) The Viking
Viking
Age in Caithness, Orkney and the North Atlantic. Edinburgh
Edinburgh
University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-0632-0 Fresson, Captain E.E. Air Road to the Isles. (2008) Kea Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9518958-9-4 Hutton, Guthrie (2009) Old Orkney. Catrine: Stenlake Publishing ISBN 9781840334678 Livesey, Margot, The Flight of Gemma Hardy (a novel). HarperCollins, 2012. ISBN 978-0-06-206422-6 Lo Bao, Phil and Hutchison, Iain (2002) BEAline to the Islands. Kea Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9518958-4-9 Nicol, Christopher (2012) Eric Linklater's Private Angelo and The Dark of Summer Glasgow: ASLS ISBN 978-1906841119 Warner, Guy (2005) Orkney
Orkney
by Air. Kea Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9518958-7-0 Dance, Gaia (2013) "The Sea Before Breakfast." Amazon. ISBN 978-1-3015054-8-7

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Orkney
Orkney
Islands.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Orkney
Orkney
Islands.

Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council, the local authority website Vision of Britain – Groome Gazetteer entry for Orkney Map of the community council areas Map of civil parishes

v t e

Council areas of Scotland

Aberdeen Aberdeenshire Angus Argyll
Argyll
and Bute Clackmannanshire Dumfries and Galloway Dundee East Ayrshire East Dunbartonshire East Lothian East Renfrewshire Edinburgh Falkirk Fife Glasgow Highland Inverclyde Midlothian Moray Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) North Ayrshire North Lanarkshire Orkney Perth and Kinross Renfrewshire Scottish Borders Shetland South Ayrshire South Lanarkshire Stirling West Dunbartonshire West Lothian

List by area, population, density

v t e

Former local government counties of Scotland

Subdivisions created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
and abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973

Aberdeenshire Angus Argyll Ayrshire Banffshire Berwickshire Bute Caithness Clackmannanshire Dumfriesshire Dunbartonshire East Lothian Fife Inverness-shire Kincardineshire Kinross-shire Kirkcudbrightshire Lanarkshire Midlothian Moray Nairnshire Orkney Peeblesshire Perthshire Renfrewshire Ross and Cromarty Roxburghshire Selkirkshire Shetland Stirlingshire Sutherland West Lothian Wigtownshire

Subdivisions abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889

Cromartyshire Ross-shire

v t e

Orkney

List of Orkney
Orkney
islands

Inhabited islands

Mainland Auskerry Burray Eday Egilsay Flotta Gairsay Graemsay Holm of Grimbister Hoy Inner Holm North Ronaldsay Papa Stronsay Papa Westray Rousay Sanday Shapinsay South Ronaldsay South Walls Stronsay Westray Wyre

Other islands

Eynhallow Helliar Holm Lamb Holm Switha Swona North West islands North East islands South West islands South East islands

Towns and villages

Kirkwall Balfour Dounby Finstown Houton Longhope Lyness Pierowall St Margaret's Hope Stromness Whitehall

Mainland parishes

Birsay Deerness Evie Firth Harray Holm Kirkwall Orphir Rendall St Andrews St Ola Sandwick Stenness Stromness

Topics

Geology Prehistory History Scapa Flow Witchcraft

Politics

Earls of Orkney Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council Flag of Orkney

v t e

Islands of Scotland

Geography

Northern Isles

Shetland

list

Orkney

list

Hebrides

Outer Hebrides

list

Inner Hebrides

list

St Kilda

Other

Islands of the Clyde Islands of the Forth Freshwater Islands Outlying Islands

Prehistory

Prehistoric Orkney

Heart of Neolithic
Neolithic
Orkney
Orkney
World Heritage Site: Maeshowe Ness of Brodgar Ring of Brodgar Skara Brae Standing Stones of Stenness

Prehistoric Shetland

Crucible of Iron Age
Iron Age
Shetland: Broch
Broch
of Mousa Jarlshof Old Scatness

Prehistoric Western Isles

Callanish Stones Dun Carloway Rubha an Dùnain Dun Nosebridge

History

Dál Riata

Columba

Kingdom of the Isles

Scandinavian Scotland Rulers of the Kingdom of the Isles Bishop of the Isles

Lordship of the Isles

Treaty of Perth Treaty of Ardtornish-Westminster Finlaggan

Earldom of Orkney

Buckquoy spindle-whorl Udal law

18th and 19th Century

Clearances Jacobite risings Flora MacDonald

Literature

Orkneyinga Saga Description of the Western Isles of Scotland
Scotland
(Monro) A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland
Scotland
(Martin) A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland
Scotland
(Johnson) The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
Hebrides
(Boswell)

Etymology

General

Scottish island names Northern Isles Hebrides Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba

Specific

Arran Gigha Skye St Kilda

Economy

Towns

Kirkwall Lerwick Rothesay Stornoway Stromness

Agencies

Community Energy Scotland Crofters Commission DTA Scotland Highlands and Islands Enterprise Scottish Islands Federation

Oil industry

Flotta Sullom Voe

Culture

Shetland

Aly Bain Thomas Fraser Peerie Willie Johnson Shetland
Shetland
Amenity Trust Up Helly Aa Vagaland

Orkney

George Mackay Brown Peter Maxwell Davies F. Marian McNeill Kirkwall
Kirkwall
Ba game Orkney
Orkney
Heritage Society St Magnus Festival

Outer Hebrides

Compton Mackenzie Fèis Bharraigh Free Church of Scotland Iain Crichton Smith

Inner Hebrides

Islay whisky Runrig Sorley MacLean West Highland Free Press

Politics

Local authorities

Shetland
Shetland
Islands Council Orkney
Orkney
Islands Council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Highland Council Argyll
Argyll
and Bute North Ayrshire

Wildlife

Fauna

Fair Isle wren Orkney
Orkney
vole Shetland
Shetland
wren St Kilda field mouse St Kilda wren

Flora

Arran whitebeams Scottish Primrose Shetland
Shetland
Mouse-ear

Domesticated animals

Cairn Terrier Eriskay Pony Hebridean Blackface Luing cattle North Ronaldsay
North Ronaldsay
sheep Scottie Sheltie Shetland
Shetland
cattle Shetland
Shetland
Goose Shetland
Shetland
pony Shetland
Shetland
sheep Soay sheep Westie

Geology

Shetland

Geopark Shetland

Geology of Orkney

Eday
Eday
Group Orcadian Basin Yesnaby Sandstone Group

Hebrides

Colonsay Group Great Estuarine Group Hebridean Terrane Lewisian complex Lorne plateau lavas Moine Supergroup Moine Thrust Belt Rhinns complex Skye Staffa Torridonian

Islands of the Clyde

Highland Boundary Fault

v t e

Scandinavian Scotland

Rulers

List of kings Earls of Orkney Crovan dynasty Lords of Argyll Mormaers of Caithness Uí Ímair

Notable women

Aud the Deep-Minded Bethóc, Prioress of Iona Bjaðǫk Cacht ingen Ragnaill Gormflaith ingen Murchada Gunnhild Gormsdóttir Helga Moddansdóttir Ingeborg of Norway Ingibjörg the Earls'-Mother Isabel Bruce Máel Muire ingen Amlaíb Margaret, Maid of Norway Margaret, Queen of Norway Margaret of Denmark, Queen of Scotland Ragnhild Eriksdotter

Other notable men

Caittil Find Ingimundr Ljótólfr Olaf the White Olvir Rosta Páll Bálkason Ragnall ua Ímair Sweyn Asleifsson Thorbjorn Thorsteinsson Thorstein the Red

History

Kingdom of the Isles Dál Riata Gall-Ghàidheil Lochlann Orkney Outer Hebrides Shetland Scottish–Norwegian War
Scottish–Norwegian War
(1262-66) Scotland Norway

Archaeology

Bornish Birsay Bishop's Palace Brough of Birsay Camas Uig Cubbie Roo's Castle Earl's Bu Jarlshof Kirkwall
Kirkwall
Castle Linton Chapel Maeshowe Old Scatness Port an Eilean Mhòir boat burial Rubha an Dùnain Scar boat burial St Magnus Church

Artifacts and culture

Birlinn Chronicles of Mann Darraðarljóð Galloway Hoard Hogbacks Lewis chessmen Manx runestones Orkneyinga saga Ounceland Sen dollotar Ulaid St Magnus Cathedral Udal law

Althings

Delting Dingwall Law Ting Holm Lunnasting Nesting Sandsting Tingwall Tynwald

Language

Middle Irish Norn Old Norse Pictish Old Norwegian

Etymology

Scottish island names Northern Isles Hebrides

Battles and treaties

Bauds Brunanburh Clontarf Dollar Barry Epiphany Isle of Man Largs Renfrew Skyhill Tara Vestrajǫrðr Treaty of 1098 Treaty of Perth

Associated clans and septs

Gunn Uí Ímair Somhairle Macaulay of Lewis Mac Coitir MacDougall MacLeod Macruari MacDonald

v t e

British Isles

Terminology

Alba Albion Prydain Britain Éire Hibernia

Naming dispute

Politics

Sovereign states

Ireland United Kingdom
United Kingdom
(England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales)

Crown dependencies

Guernsey Jersey Isle of Man Sark

Political cooperation

Ireland– United Kingdom
United Kingdom
relations British–Irish Council British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly Common Travel Area

Geography

Island groups

Channel Islands Islands of the Clyde Great Britain Hebrides

Inner Outer

Ireland Isle of Man Northern Isles

Orkney Shetland

Isles of Scilly

Lists of islands of

Bailiwick of Guernsey Ireland Bailiwick of Jersey Isle of Man United Kingdom

England Scotland Wales

History

Island groups

Ireland

Current states

Ireland United Kingdom

England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

Guernsey Jersey Isle of Man

Former states

Irish Free State Kingdom of England

Principality of Wales

Kingdom of Great Britain Kingdom of Ireland Kingdom of Scotland United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland

Society

Modern languages

Germanic

English Scots

Celtic

Cornish Scottish Gaelic Irish Manx Welsh

Romance

Auregnais French Guernésiais Jèrriais Sercquiais

Other

British Sign Language Irish Sign Language Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Sign Language Shelta

People

British Cornish English English Gypsies Irish Irish Travellers Kale Manx Northern Irish Scottish Ulster-Scots Welsh

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 129015040 LCCN: n81071458 ISNI: 0000 0004 0515 1

.