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Stronsay
Stronsay
is an island in Orkney, Scotland. Known as Orkney's 'Island of Bays', owing to an irregular shape which creates miles of dramatic coastline, Stronsay
Stronsay
is 3,275 hectares (13 square miles) in size, and 44 metres (144 feet) at its highest point and has a usually resident population of 349. The main village is Whitehall, home to a heritage centre. Sights on the island include the Vat of Kirbister, a natural arch described as the "finest in Orkney",[1] white sand beaches at the three interlocking bays – St Catherine’s Bay and the Bay of Holland to the west and Mill Bay to the east - and various seabirds amongst which are Arctic terns.

Contents

1 Geography and geology 2 History

2.1 Prehistory 2.2 18th and 19th centuries

3 Present day 4 Wildlife 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

Geography and geology[edit]

Vat of Kirbister, on the east coast of Stronsay

As with most of Orkney, Stronsay
Stronsay
is made up of Old Red Sandstone
Old Red Sandstone
which has produced a fine soil in many places.[1] It is generally low lying. On the eastern coast, spectacular rock formations include the Vat of Kirbister – Stronsay’s famous natural rock arch, often described as the finest in Orkney. The coast around Odiness Bay features numerous dramatic geos, caves, flagstone rock platforms and sea stacks, including Tam’s Castle, reputed to have once housed a hermitage on its flat summit. With an area of 33 square kilometres (13 sq mi) it is the seventh largest of the Orkney
Orkney
Islands. Surrounding small islands include Linga Holm, Papa Stronsay, the Holm of Huip
Holm of Huip
(named after a district in north west Stronsay) and the Holms of Spurness. To the north is Sanday, to the north west Eday, Shapinsay
Shapinsay
and Mainland Orkney to the south west, and Auskerry
Auskerry
due south. History[edit] Prehistory[edit] Two flint arrowheads discovered at a site investigated by Orkney College in April 2007 are believed to date from the late Paleolithic or early Mesolithic
Mesolithic
periods some 10-12,000 years ago. They were found amongst a scattered collection of other tools on a farm. If confirmed, they could be the earliest human artifacts found in Scotland.[8] 18th and 19th centuries[edit] The island is now agricultural, but during the 18th and 19th centuries, kelp collection and herring curing employed up to five thousand people. The population, which is high for a Scottish island, was over a thousand for the entire 19th century through the mid-20th century, with the 1891 census recording a population of 1275 people, excluding seasonal itinerants involved in the herring industry.[1] The kelp burning industry was started by James Fea of Whitehall in 1727,[1] and thrived during the remainder of the 18th century, lasting into the early 19th century; some of the kiln ruins can still be seen. The Stronsay beast
Stronsay beast
was a mysterious, decomposing corpse of a sea-creature that was stranded in 1808. The carcass measured 55 feet (16.8 m) in length, with the "neck" 15 feet and the circumference of the body 10 feet.[9] The corpse created a great stir, with some proclaiming it a sea serpent, but others have claimed it was a decayed basking shark. Present day[edit] The usual resident population of the island in 2011 was 349,[4] compared to 342 in 2001.[10] Orkney
Orkney
Ferries sail from Whitehall to Kirkwall
Kirkwall
on the Orkney
Orkney
Mainland, and planes fly there from the island's airstrip. The island is mainly agricultural with farming and fishing the main industries. Efforts are being made by the community to develop the economy by improving tourism infrastructure The main population centre is Whitehall village, featuring a row of seafront houses is bordered by two piers, a link to the village’s foundation as a herring fishing station in the 19th century. There is a variety of accommodation in Whitehall, including the Stronsay
Stronsay
Hotel, Storehouse B&B and FishMart hostel. Whitehall overlooks the separate island of Papa Stronsay, across the blue waters of Papa Sound. A prominent feature of the smaller island is the monastery complex of the Transalpine Redemptorist monks who live there. Visitors are welcome and the monks can help arrange boat trips. The island's school is well-resourced and caters for nursery, primary and secondary pupils. Moncur Memorial Church is the Church of Scotland
Scotland
centre of worship on Stronsay
Stronsay
and there is a Catholic
Catholic
chapel in Whitehall, which is part of the Diocese of Aberdeen.[11] There is a thriving craft community, including Marion Miller Jewellery (hand-crafted silver and gemstone jewellery), Airy Fairy (personalised baby quilts, gifts and children’s clothes), Orkney
Orkney
Star Island Soap specialises in natural soaps and balms, Selkie Glass (fused and stained glass work) and the Wyrd Weaver (handwoven folk-art textiles). Housed in an old chapel built in 1800 and overlooking St Catherine’s Bay, Craftship Enterprise is the island’s craft hub. Wildlife[edit]

Sketch of the " Stronsay
Stronsay
beast" made by Sir Alexander Gibson in 1808.

While the landscape has very few trees, the fertile soil supports a wide variety of wild flowers including oysterplant, frog orchids, adder's tongue, and also a naturalised population of Patagonian ragwort.[1] There are a wide variety of birds on the island, and birdwatchers have recorded many rarities. Common species include whooper swan, various ducks and geese including the greater white-fronted goose, as well as common redshank, common snipe, common quail, great skua, corn bunting and corncrake, the last of which is rare in Scotland. Take your binoculars to the cliffs at Lamb Ness and Lamb Head and you can chart the comings and goings of vast quantities of seabirds. Serious birdwatchers might follow the well-worn twitcher’s trail to the Stronsay
Stronsay
Bird Reserve*, one of the best sites in Europe to spot rare migrants such as the American Golden Plover, Arctic Redpoll, Scarlet Rosefinch and Tawny Pipit. Seals can also be spotted at many locations, including the Ayre of the Myers, a popular picnic-spot near Whitehall, at the twin south-facing bays at Houseby and Sand of Crook or from the seal-hide near Holland Bay. The more unusual occasional visitors which have been recorded include:

American golden plover Arctic redpoll Pied wheatear Rustic bunting Scarlet rosefinch Tawny pipit Various warblers including: Radde's warbler, marsh warbler and subalpine warbler.[1]

See also[edit]

Papa Stronsay
Papa Stronsay
- a nearby islet which belongs to the Transalpine Redemptorists, a traditionalist Catholic
Catholic
organisation.

Notes[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 370-72 ^ Orkney
Orkney
Placenames Orkneyjar. Retrieved 28. May 2012. ^ a b Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands over 20 ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census. ^ a b c National Records of Scotland
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. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 5 Orkney
Orkney
(Northern Isles) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2008. ISBN 9780319228111.  ^ Anderson, Joseph (Ed.) (1893) Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. James Thin and Mercat Press (1990 reprint). ISBN 0-901824-25-9 ^ Pedersen, Roy (January 1992) Orkneyjar ok Katanes (map, Inverness, Nevis Print) ^ Ross, John (5 October 2007) " Orkney
Orkney
arrowheads find points to Scotland's earliest settlement". Edinburgh. The Scotsman. ^ Newton, Michael (2005). " Stronsay
Stronsay
Beast". Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 442–443. ISBN 0-7864-2036-7.  ^ General Register Office for Scotland
Scotland
(28 November 2003) Scotland's Census 2001 – Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands. Retrieved 26 February 2012. ^ "Stronsay" Visitorkney.com. Retrieved 25 August 2013.

References[edit]

Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stronsay.

www.visitstronsay.com

v t e

North East Orkney
Orkney
Islands

Auskerry Calf of Eday Eday Helliar Holm Holm of Huip Linga Holm Muckle Green Holm North Ronaldsay Papa Stronsay Sanday Shapinsay Stronsay Thieves Holm

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

Prehistoric Shetland

Crucible of Iron Age Shetland: 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 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

Coordinates: 59°07′N 2°36′W / 59.117°N 2.600°W / 59

.