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View of Finstown from HY3615 - - 235398.jpg
A view of Finstown from across The Ouse, a tidal inlet
Finstown is located in Orkney Islands
Finstown shown within Orkney
OS grid reference HY359138
Civil parish
Council area
Lieutenancy area
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
Scottish Parliament
List of places
59°00′25″N 3°06′58″W / 59.007°N 3.116°W / 59.007; -3.116Coordinates: 59°00′25″N 3°06′58″W / 59.007°N 3.116°W / 59.007; -3.116

Finstown in the parish of Firth[1] on Mainland, Orkney, Scotland is the third-largest settlement on the island. According to travel author Eric Linklater, the homes in Finstown are tidy and well cared for.[2] This settlement is situated along the Bay of Firth, whose fringe is a shallow intertidal mudflat.[3] Finstown is situated at the junction of the A965 and the A966.[4][5]


Prehistoric finds have been made in the form of ancient cists, somewhat west of the primary school.[6] Further east towards Kirkwall is the Rennibister Earth House, estimated to be 3000 years old.

Finstown Gala with pipe band. Credit: Colin Smith

Formerly called "Toon o' Firth", the origin of the Finstown 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. The ale-house building is now the site of the Pomona Inn hostelry, after an old name for Mainland Orkney.

The former Liberal Party leader Jo Grimond is buried in Finstown.


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


  1. ^ "Details of Finstown". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Linklater, Eric (1965). Orkney and Shetland: an historical, geographical, social, and scenic survey. p. 122. 
  3. ^ Hogan, C. Michael (2007). "HY3613 : Beach and mudflats at Finstown Centre waterfront, Mainland Orkney". Geograph Britain and Ireland/United Kingdom Ordnance Survey. 
  4. ^ "A965". Sabre. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "A966". Sabre. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 1981. p. 58. 

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