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Barony Mill, near Birsay, Orkney

This is the last working mill in Orkney but it isn’t commercially viable. It opens in the summer for tourists but does grind grain in winter – the local bere barley etc – for some local consumption and to keep the tradition going.

The young lad that showed us round (off to University later this year) said it was his grandmothe who was the last full-time miller there. Pictures of her at work were on the walls. Quite a thing back then for a woman to be in a job like that.

Barony Mill, near Birsay, Orkney

Old water wheels. They may get round to recommissioning these one day:-

Old mill wheels, Barony Mill

I took four videos. Click on each picture to get to its video.

Water Wheel:-

Barony Wheel Driving Wheel

Gearing:-

Gearing, Barony Mill

Lower level workings:-

Barony Mill, Lower Level Workings

Upper level workings:-

Barony Mill Upper Level Workings

Evie War Memorial

Evie is a small village close to the Broch of Gurness in the north of mainland Orkney.

This simple pillar stands to the side of the A 966 road from Evie to Birsay.

War Memorial, Evie, Orkney

The inscription reads, “In memoriam. Died for King and Country in the Great War 1914-1919.”

Inscription, War Memorial, Evie, Orkney

The names on the memorial all date from 1917 and 1918:-

Names, War Memorial, Evie, Orkney

More Names, War Memorial, Evie, Orkney,

Ness Battery, Stromness

The main World War 2 defence artillery battery for the Sound of Hoy was the Ness Battery. A few buildings remain. They have that vaguely Deco style of a lot of World War 2 fortifications. We missed the guided tour so didn’t get the full access. We’d only gone out for an evening stroll.

Ness Battery, Stromness

Ness Battery, Stromness  2

Ness Battery, Stromness 3

Shore Battery. Atlantic/Pentland Firth beyond:-

Shore Battery, Ness Battery, Stromness

Graemsay and Hoy from Ness Battery:-

Graemsay and Hoy from Ness Battery

Birsay, Orkney

The parish and village of Birsay lies at the northwestern end of the mainland of Orkney.

Just off the mainland is the Brough of Birsay. Brough means island:-

Brough of Birsay, Orkney

A causeway allows access to the island at low tide. You can just see the causeway under the water’s surface to the middle left of the photo. The island has a Stevenson lighthouse on it.

Rocks and a standing stone at Birsay:-

Rocks at Birsay, Orkney

More rocks and a small bay at Birsay:-

Rocks and Bay at Birsay, Orkney

The remains of the Palace of a notoriously harsh Earl of Orkney are the main attraction in Birsay itself.

From road in:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney, from Road in.

Reverse view:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney

Interior 1:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney Interior 1

Interior 2:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney, Interior 2

Interior 3:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney, Interior 3

We did wander round the graveyard of St Magnus Church, and took a walk down to the beach behind it.

Art Deco Lettering, Stromness

I didn’t spot much that could be described as Art Deco on mainland Orkney. The lettering on mosaic background on this shop in Stromness came closest:-

Deco Lettering, Shop, Stromness

Once a soda fountain and coffee salon the shop has now been repurposed to sell clothes:-

Art Deco Lettering, Stromness

Scapa Flow Scenes

Hoy and a boat on Scapa Flow:-

Hoy + Boat

Hoy from ferry across Scapa Flow. The island in the middleground, with the lighthouse, is Cava:-

Hoy from Ferry across Scapa Flow

A yacht on Scapa Flow, Hoy behind:-

Yacht + Hoy from Scapa Flow

Yacht and SS Hamnavoe from Scapa Flow. Island of Graemsay in middle ground:-

Yacht + SS Hamnavoe from Scapa Flow

Hoy and Flotta

On the way back from Lyness on Hoy to Houton on the Orkney mainland the ferry took a slightly different route in order to put off and pick up at the island of Flotta.

Looking back to Hoy from ferry to Flotta :-

Looking back to Hoy from Flotta Ferry

Miltary constructions go back a long way on Orkney. This is one of at least two Martello Towers on Hoy. These date from the Napoleonic wars:-

A Martello Tower, Hoy

Defunct military building on Flotta, Orkney. Plus trees – an unusual sight on Orkney:-

Fortification on Flotta, Orkney

At the Flotta terminal a woman suddenly cried out, “Look. A Seal!”

A Seal, Flotta

Three more seals were basking on the shore on the other side of the ferry:-

Seals on Flotta, Orkney

Structure in mid Scapa Flow. This was too far away from the ferry for me to make it out but it looks like an artificial island:-

Structure in mid Scapa Flow

Oil Terminal at Rinnigill, Flotta, from Flotta-Houton ferry.:-

Oil Terminal at Rinnigill, Flotta

Tanker and Rinnigill Oil Terminal, Flotta:-

Tanker and Rinnigill OilTerminal, Flotta

Italian Chapel, Lamb Holm, Orkney

During World War 2 Italian prisoners of war were held on Orkney. After the sinking of the Royal Oak, Churchill ordered the gaps between four of the islands at the southern end to be filled in. These links between the islands came to be known as the Churchill Barriers. One of the photos in the link shows – still there over 70 years later – the remains of a pre-barrier block ship that was sunk early in the war before the barriers’ construction.

The Italians were set to work on building them. At first they objected as the barriers were military measures on which they were banned from working by the Geneva Conventions. When it was suggested to them that they were being built to improve civilian communications between the islands they happily acceded.

Another part the prisoners’ legacy is the ornately decorated chapel that they built (see pictures here) on the island of Lamb’s Holm, plus the statue of Saint George nearby.

The Italian Chapel is now a tourist attraction in its own right. It was quite busy when we visited so I only photographed the outside.

Italian Chapel:-

Italian Chapel, Lamb Holm, Orkney

Statue of Saint George:-

Statue of Saint George by Italian Chapel, Lamb Holm, Orkney

Approaching Orkney

Island of Stroma, Pentland Firth. Stroma is not part of Orkney proper but lies to the south:-

Island of Stroma, Pentland Firth

A fortification on Flotta, Orkney. Hard to tell at the distance; it may have been from the Great War, World War 2 or both:-

A Fortification on Flotta, Orkney

Fortifications on South Ronaldsay, Orkney. World War 2 vintage:-

Fortifications on South Ronaldsay, Orkney

More Fortifications on South Ronaldsay. Artillery emplacements. These are almost Art Deco in style:-

More Fortifications on South Ronaldsay, Orkney

Round Church, Orphir, Orkney

Dedicated to St Nicholas this was one of only two round mediƦval churches in Scotland.

Remains of Round Church, Orphir, Orkney

Opposite view. Scapa Flow to rear right:-

Round Church, Orphir, Orkney

Round Church window:-

Window, Round Church, Orphir, Orkney

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