Eynhallow Church

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Eynhallow Church, view from the southeast.
View from northwest. On the right the 12th century western porch.

Eynhallow Church is the ruin of a 12th-century monastery, located on Eynhallow in Orkney, Scotland. It is a scheduled monument.[1]


The history of Eynhallow Church is mostly unknown. The church might have been part of a monastery, maybe of the Benedictine order.[2] The church was built in the 12th century.[2][3]

Because of the name of the isle it is likely that Eynhallow was an important religious centre.[3] Eyin-Helha is Old Norse for Holy Isle.[3]

In the Orkneyinga Saga the story is told of Olaf, son of Svein Asleifarson and ward of Kolbein Hruga; he was kidnapped from Eynhallow in 1155 [4] and was most likely sent to Eynhallow to be educated by the monks.[3]

Eynhallow Church was deserted before the reformation (circa 1560).[2]

The church was converted into dwellings in the 16th century.[3][2]

In 1851 the inhabitants of Eynhallow were transferred elsewhere and the church and other buildings were stripped of their roofs.[2]

The ruin was consolidated by W.R. Lethaby in 1897.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Eynhallow Church and settlement SM90144". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f J. Gifford, The Buildings of Scotland - Highland and Islands (2003). Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09625-9. Pages 299-300.
  3. ^ a b c d e A. Ritchie and G. Ritchie, The ancient monuments of Orkney (1999). Historic Scotland. ISBN 1-900168-79-0. Page 60.
  4. ^ Orkneyinga Saga, Penguin Classics, ISBN 0-14-044383-5, chapter 97, pages 204-205.

Coordinates: 59°8′28.40″N 3°7′18.20″W / 59.1412222°N 3.1217222°W / 59.1412222; -3.1217222