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The Hall of Clestrain, birthplace of John Rae, and currently derelict

Orphir (pronounced /ɔːrfɪr/, Old Norse: Jorfjara/Orfjara[1][2][3]) is a parish and settlement on Mainland, Orkney. It is approximately 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Kirkwall, and comprises a seaboard tract of about 7 by 3½ miles (11 by 5½ km), and includes Cava and the Holm of Houton. The coast includes Houton Head, about 300 ft tall (91 m), but all elsewhere is nearly level; and the interior is an assemblage of vales and hills, the latter culminating at about 700 feet (210 m) above sea level, and commanding fine views.

A chief residence was the Hall of Clestrain; and chief antiquities include the ruins of Earl Paul's Palace, remains of pre-Reformation chapels, the Round Kirk and several tumuli.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Anderson, Joseph (Ed.) (1893) Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. James Thin and Mercat Press (1990 reprint). ISBN 0-901824-25-9
  2. ^ Pedersen, Roy (January 1992) Orkneyjar ok Katanes (map, Inverness, Nevis Print)
  3. ^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.
  4. ^ "Margaret Manson Graham" in Elizabeth L. Ewan, Sue Innes, Sian Reynolds, and Rose Pipes, ed., The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (Edinburgh University Press 2006): 142-143. ISBN 9780748626601

This article incorporates text from - Wilson, Rev. John The Gazetteer of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1882) Published by W. & A.K. Johnstone

Coordinates: 58°56′N 3°9′W / 58.933°N 3.150°W / 58.933; -3.150