Graemsay

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For other places with the same name, see Grimsay (disambiguation).
Graemsay
An aerial view of Graemsay, from above Hoy
An aerial view of Graemsay, from above Hoy
Location
Graemsay is located in Orkney Islands
Graemsay
Graemsay
Graemsay shown within Orkney
OS grid reference HY255055
Names
Norse name Grímsey[1]
Meaning of name Grímr's Island
Area and summit
Area 409 ha (1.58 sq mi)
Area rank 76[2]
Highest elevation West Hill 62 m (203 ft)
Population
Population 28[3]
Population rank 60[2]
Groupings
Island group Orkney Islands
Local Authority Orkney
Flag of Scotland.svg Lymphad3.svg
References [4][5][6]

Graemsay is an island in the western approaches to Scapa Flow, in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The island has two lighthouses.

Geography and geology[edit]

Hoy High Lighthouse

Graemsay lies between Hoy and Stromness on Mainland Orkney, separated from the Mainland by Clestrain Sound. The island is 409 ha (1.58 sq mi) in area and is mainly crofted.

The island's geology is old red sandstone of the Devonian period, with two volcanic faults. On the north coast there is granite-schist, a great rarity in Orkney.

Graemsay is surrounded by strong tidal races, known locally as roosts. An Orkney Ferries service, usually operated by MV Graemsay, links the island with Stromness and Moaness on Hoy.

Wildlife[edit]

Birds include oystercatchers, ringed plovers, redshank and curlew. Parts of the island are largely undeveloped and are a haven for wild plants.[citation needed]

History[edit]

As with many other Orkney Islands, there is a connection to the Celtic Church, possibly a pre-Norse one. There are the remains of two early churches, dedicated to St Bride and to St Columba.,[4] who are both saints of Irish origin.

The island has two lighthouses, Hoy High (NE) and Hoy Low (NW), both built in 1851 by Alan Stevenson[7] for the 19th century herring industry.

At the Point of Oxan in the far north west, in Burra Sound, are block ships, which were scuttled deliberately during World War II. This is a common feature of the straits/former straits around Scapa Flow

The school closed in 1996 and the island's children travel daily by boat to school in Stromness on the ferry 'Graemsay.'[4]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Anderson, Joseph (ed.) (1873) The Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. Edmonston and Douglas. The Internet Archive. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands >20ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  3. ^ National Records of Scotland (15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland - Release 1C (Part Two). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland’s inhabited islands". Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7. 
  5. ^ Ordnance Survey. Get-a-map (Map). 1:25,000. Leisure. http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/getamap/. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  6. ^ Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003) Ainmean-àite/Placenames. (pdf) Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Graemsay website". Retrieved 2007-07-22. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 58°56′N 3°17′W / 58.933°N 3.283°W / 58.933; -3.283