Twatt, Orkney

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Not to be confused with Twatt, Shetland.
Twatt Orkney Road Sign.JPG
Road sign pointing to Twatt
Twatt is located in Orkney Islands
 Twatt shown within Orkney
OS grid reference HY270242
Civil parish Birsay
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°05′53″N 3°16′26″W / 59.098°N 3.274°W / 59.098; -3.274

Twatt is a small settlement in the parish of Birsay on the Mainland of the Orkney Islands, Scotland. It was previously the location of a RNAS airfield, HMS Tern, 1940–1949.[1][2][3] Twatt is situated at the junction of the A986 and the A967.[4][5]


Remains at Twatt airfield
Twatt Church

The settlement name originates from the Old Norse þveit, meaning 'small parcel of land'. The Norse word commonly produces in England the place name element Thwaite.

The name Twatt is similar to the common English expletive "twat", (an insulting word used by someone to express contempt or derision for another individual, although it can also colloquially refer to a vagina). Its name featured at number four in a list of the most vulgar-sounding names in Rude Britain, along with its Shetland counterpart. There is also an Upper Twatt Road on the island in Stenness.[6]


  1. ^ "RNAS Twatt airfield, HMS Tern". Control Retrieved 13 October 2007. 
  2. ^ "Twatt". Abandoned, Forgotten and Little Known Airfields in Europe. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Twatt Airfield". Canmore. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "A986". Sabre. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "A967". Sabre. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Orkney Islands Council - Development and Environment Services - List of public roads as of 1 December 2010" (PDF). Orkney Islands Council. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 

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