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Finstown is located in Orkney Islands
 Finstown shown within Orkney
OS grid reference HY359138
Council area Orkney Islands
Lieutenancy area Orkney Islands
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ORKNEY
Postcode district KW17
Dialling code 01856
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Orkney and Shetland
Scottish Parliament Orkney
List of places

Coordinates: 59°00′25″N 3°06′58″W / 59.007°N 3.116°W / 59.007; -3.116

Finstown in the parish of Firth on Mainland, Orkney is the third largest settlement on the island. According to travel author Linklater, the homes in Finstown are tidy and well cared for.[1] This settlement is situated along the Bay of Firth, whose fringe is a shallow intertidal mudflat.[2]


Prehistoric finds have been made in the form of ancient cists, somewhat west of the primary school.[3] Further east towards Kirkwall is the Rennibister Earth House, estimated to be 3000 years old.


Finstown has a post office, Firth Primary School, two pubs (one closed at present), a shop and a garage. Most of these buildings are situated on the main Stromness to Kirkwall road.

Name and culture[edit]

Finstown Gala with pipe band. Credit: Colin Smith

Formerly called "Toon o' Firth", the origin of the name is thought to come from an Irishman named David Phin who came to the area in 1811. A soldier with the 9th Royal Veteran Battalion, he married a Kirkwall girl in 1813. In 1820 he opened an ale house which was called the 'Toddy Hole' by arrangement with John Miller of Millquoy. Four years later they quarrelled and Phin left for Aberdeen, but his name remained. Today the hostelry is called the Pomona Inn, after an old name for Mainland Orkney.

Line notes[edit]

  1. ^ Eric Linklater. 1965
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2007
  3. ^ Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 1981