Orkney, Historic County of Scotland
This is the Umbrella project for Orkney
Please do not link profiles to this project - its purpose is to inform!
Still to come
- Orkney Genealogical Resources
- Orkney Historical Page
HELP is always welcome!!
- Administrative centre Kirkwall
- Chapman County Code - OKI
- Gaelic Name Arcaibh
- The local people are known as Orcadians
- Landmarks and Places of Interest
- The Old Man of Hoy
- Scapa Flow - HQ for the north Atlantic naval fleet in both world wars
- Maeshowe Chambered Cairn -
- Stone circles at Stenness and Brodgar
- Monoliths, Setter Stone of Eday, Yetnasteen of Rousay and North Ronaldsay’s Stan Stane.
- Skara Brae, a well-preserved Neolithic village on the edge of the bay of Skaill.
- Area 990 Sq. km (380 sq. miles)
- Succeeded by
- County Flower - Alpine Bearberry
Orkney, also known as the Orkney Islands, is an archipelago in northern Scotland comprising approximately 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited. The largest island is known as the "Mainland". Orkney is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, a constituency of the Scottish Parliament, a lieutenancy area, and a former county.
The islands are mainly low-lying except for some sandstone hills on Hoy, Mainland and Rousay and rugged cliffs on some western coasts. Nearly all of the islands have lochs, but the watercourses are merely streams draining the high land. The coastlines are indented, and the islands themselves are divided from each other by straits generally called "sounds" or "firths".
The Parishes of Orkney
Numbers in [..] refer to Parish Map below
- Birsay 
- Burray -- see South Ronaldshay; 
- Deerness; 
- Eday & Pharay; 
- Egilsay -- see Rousay;
- Evie & Rendall; 
- Firth & Stennes; 
- Flotta -- see Walls;
- Graemsay -- see Hoy;
- Harray; 
- Holm & Paplay; 
- Hoy & Graemsay; 
- Kirkwall & St. Ola; 
- North Ronaldshay;
- Orphir; 
- Papa-Westray -- see Westray; 
- Paplay 
- Pharay -- see Eday 
- Rendall -- see Evie 
- Rousay & Egilsay 
- St. Andrews 
- Sanday 
- Sandwick 
- Shapinshay 
- South Ronaldshay & Burray 
- Stennes -- see Firth 
- Stromness 
- Stronsay 
- Walls (including Flotta) 
- Westray (including Papa-Westray) 
Islands with an area greater than 15 hectares (approximately 37 acres).
- Brough of Birsay
- Calf of Eday
- Calf of Flotta
- Glims Holm
- Helliar Holm
- Holm of Faray
- Holm of Grimbister
- Holm of Huip
- Holm of Papa
- Holm of Scockness
- Inner Holm
- Lamb Holm
- Linga Holm
- Muckle Green Holm
- Muckle Skerry
- North Ronaldsay
- Orkney Mainland
- Papa Stronsay
- Papa Westray
- Rysa Little
- South Ronaldsay
- South Walls
- Start Point
- Sweyn Holm
Smaller islets and skerries
Uninhabited smaller Orkney islands (many of which are called "Holm" from the Old Norse holmr, meaning a small and rounded islet), tidal islets only separated at higher stages of the tide, or skerries which are only exposed at lower stages of the tide.
In the vicinity of:
- Auskerry: Lunga Skerries, Oessen Skerry, The Clett.
- Calf of Eday: Lashy Skerries, The Bow.
- Cava: Barrel of Butter.
- Copinsay: Black Holm, Corn Holm, Horse of Copinsay, Scarf Skerry, Sow Skerry, Ward Holm.
- Eday: Green Holm, Red Holm, Rusk Holm.
- Egilsay: Kili Holm.
- Eynhallow: Sheep Skerry.
- Gairsay: Holm of Boray, Holm of Rendall, Little Seal Skerry, Skertours, Taing Skerry.
- Glims Holm: Dulse Skerry, Glimpsholm Skerry.
- Graemsay: Middle Skerry, Skerry of Cletts, Sour Skerry, Sow Skerry.
- Hoy: Grassy Cletts, Inner Skerry, Middle Skerry, Old Man of Hoy, Outer Skerry, The Needle.
- Mainland: Bo Skerry, Bow Skerries, Braga, Brough of Bigging, Holm of Houton, Holm of Rendall, Iceland Skerry, Kirk Rocks, Little Skerry, Mirkady Point, Nevi Skerry, Outer Holm, Oyster Skerries, Puldrite Skerry, Quanterness Skerry, Scare Gun, Seal Skerry, Skaill Skerries, Skerries of Clestrain, Skerries of Coubister, Skerries of Lakequoy, Skerry of Work, Skerry of Yinstay, Smoogro Skerry, Thieves Holm, Whyabatten, Yesnaby Castle.
- Muckle Skerry: Clettack Skerry, Little Skerry, Louther Skerry.
- North Ronaldsay: Altars of Linnay, Green Skerry, Hoe Skerries, Reefdyke, Seal Skerry.
- Papa Stronsay: Jack's Hole, Jack's Reef.
- Papa Westray: Cairn Head, Muckle Quoy.
- Rousay: Little Brig, Muckle Brig.
- Sanday: Baa Gruna,
- Shapinsay: Broad Shoal, Grass Holm, Skerry of Vasa.
- Stronsay: Holms of Spurness, Ingale Skerry, Little Linga, The Bow.
- Swona: Selki Skerry, South Clett, The Tails of the Tarff, West Wini Skerry.
- Westray: Holm of Aikerness, Shell Holm, Skea Skerries, Wart Holm.
- Wyre: Wyre Skerries.
The remote islets of Sule Skerry and Sule Stack, which lie 37 miles (60 km) west of the archipelago form part of Orkney for local government purposes.
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