|Meaning of name||Old Norse: sand island|
An aerial view of the southern coast of Sanday, looking west. Tres Ness and Conninghole are in the foreground.
Sanday shown within Orkney
|OS grid reference|
|Area||5,043 ha (19.5 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||The Wart 65 m (213 ft)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Council area||Orkney Islands|
|Population density||9.8 people/km2|
Sanday is one of the inhabited islands of Orkney that lies off the north coast of mainland Scotland. With an area of 50.43 square kilometres (19.5 sq mi), it is the third largest of the Orkney Islands. The main centres of population are Lady Village and Kettletoft. Sanday can be reached by Orkney Ferries or by plane from Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland. On Sanday, an on-demand public minibus service allows connecting to the ferry.
The Picts were the pre-Norse inhabitants of Sanday but very few placenames remain from this period.The Norse named the island Sandey or Sand-øy because of the predominance of sandy beaches and this became "Sanday" during the Scots and English speaking periods. The similarly named Sandoy is in the Faroe Islands.
Many names of places and natural features derive from Old Norse. According to Dorward (1995), the placename Kettletoft means "Kettil's croft"although "toft" in this context may mean ""abandoned site of house" from the Norse topt. The suffix -bister found in Sellibister and Overbister is from bólstaðr meaning "dwelling" or "farm". Other common suffixes are -wick and -ness from the Norse vik and nes and meaning "bay" and "headland" respectively. According to Frances Groome, Otterswick was originally known as Odinswic.
Sanday lies south of North Ronaldsay and east of Eday and Westray. It is divided naturally into two roughly equal halves by Otterswick, a bay which runs in from the north, and Kettletoft Bay in the south. The narrow isthmus between them formed the boundary between the historic parishes Cross and Burness to the west and Lady to the east.The novelist Eric Linklater described Sanday's shape seen from the air as being like that of a giant fossilised bat.
Changing post-glacial sea levels will have much altered the shape of this low-lying island since the last ice age. William Traill described a gale in 1838 which removed 20 hectares (49 acres) of sand in Otterswick Bay. This revealed a dark layer of decayed vegetation under fallen trees up to 60 centimetres (24 in) in diameter. The trees lay "as if felled by a storm" and were visible under the sea for 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi). A search for these tree remains in the 20th century was unsuccessful.
Inland it is fertile and agricultural and there is some commercial lobster fishing. The underlying geology is predominantly Devonian sediments of the Rousay flagstone group with Eday sandstone in the south east.
There are several small bodies of freshwater on the island including North Loch, Bea Loch near Kettletoft and Roos Loch on the Burness peninsula.
The Neolithic Quoyness chambered cairn, dates from around 2900 BC. An arc of Bronze Age mounds surrounds this cairn on the Elsness peninsula. 5-metre-high (16 ft) mound at Tres Ness.A large man-made mound at Pool was excavated in the 1980s. This indicated a Neolithic structure made of turf or burnt peat, a later pre-Viking sub-circular structure with pavings and cells, and a Viking stone and turf rectangular building dated to the late 8th or early 9th century. Various implements were also discovered including pre-Norse hipped pins and pottery from both the pre-Viking and Norse periods. A predominance of fish and animal bones suggests the site was used for meat processing. Storms in January 2005 exposed a Bronze Age burnt burial mound at Meur. There are several ruined Iron Age brochs on the island such as the Broch of Wasso, a
The nature of the culture that built the brochs remains a matter of debatebut it is known that later Iron Age Orkney was part of the Pictish kingdom and from at least the mid-6th century onwards that Christianity had spread to the islands. However, the archeological record for this period is sparse and little is known of life on Sanday at this time beyond that which can be assumed from a knowledge of Pictish society elsewhere. The local heritage centre shows a Pictish decorated stone showing a cross.
Orkney became part of the Scandinavian polity from perhaps the 9th century onwards. In 1991 the Scar boat burial was discovered on the coast of Sanday near Burness. This Norse-era vessel, which had been 6.5-metre (21 ft) long and 1.5-metre (4.9 ft) wide, had rotted away, leaving more than 300 iron rivets. The enclosure, dated to 875—950 AD, was found to contain the remains of a man, a woman, and a child, along with numerous grave goods. These included a sword, quiver with arrows, bone comb, gaming pieces and the Scar dragon plaque, made from whale bone.
During the medieval period Sanday had 36 ouncelands, which may have been divided into two 'huseby' districts for taxation purposes with Lady to the east forming a unit with Stronsay and Cross and Burness to the west being combined with Eday and other isles to the west and north.The main farm for the western district may have been located between Pool Bay and Warsetter at a site called Housay that is now just a mound.
In the mid-17th century an annexe to Blaeu's Atlas Novus of Scotland recorded that Sanday's low lying topography meant that "shipwreck often occurs to those who sail there at night. The inhabitants of Sanday earnestly and often desire this to happen, so that they get a supply of material for fire from the wrecked ships". The writer went on to state that the lack of peat meant that dried seaweed was "saved like treasure" for cooking fires and that only the better-off citizens could afford to bring peat from Eday "over the most fearful sea".
Writing in the early 18th century, the Rev. John Brand described island life thus:
"Both Men and Women are fashionable in their cloths, no Men here use Plaids, as they do in our Highlands;In the North Isles of Sanda Westra &c. Many of the Countrey People wear a piece of a Skin, as of a Scale, comonly called a Selch, Calf or the lik. for Shoes, which they fasten to their Feet with stringes or thongs of Leather. Their Houses are in good order, and well furnished, according to their qualities. They generally speak English."
As part of the agricultural improvement movement of the 19th century the brothers Malcolm and Samuel Laing created a "New Model Farm" near the Loth ferry terminal at the south end of the island. They introduced merino sheep, and the ruins of the steam engine house and the red-brick chimney and boiler house are still visible. Although such innovations brought increased productivity and were widely copied in Orkney they also impoverished the substantial population of landless cottars who were increasingly marginalised.
During World War II, the Royal Air Force built a Chain Home radar station at Whale Head near Lop Ness.This necessitated the building of a large camp at Langamay to house the military personnel, which incorporated a cinema.
Sanday also once boasted the most northerly passenger railway in the United Kingdom, a privately owned rideable miniature installation near Braeswick, the Sanday Light Railway.
Start Point Lighthouse in 2007
|Year first constructed||1806 (first)|
|Year first lit||1870 (current)|
|Tower shape||cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||white and black vertical stripes tower, black lantern, ochre trim|
|Tower height||25 metres (82 ft)|
|Focal height||24 metres (79 ft)|
|Light source||solar power|
|Range||24 nautical miles (44 km; 28 mi)|
|Characteristic||Fl (2) W 20s.|
|Managing agent||Northern Lighthouse Board|
|Heritage||category B listed building |
Start Point lighthouse on Sanday was completed on 2 October 1806 by engineer Thomas Smith (engineer). It was the first Scottish lighthouse to have a clockwork-driven revolving parabolic reflector creating a sweeping beam. The reflector was later replaced by a Fresnel lens. In 1870 the lighthouse was rebuilt. Since 1915, it has been painted by distinctive black and white vertical stripes which are unique in Scotland. The light was automated in 1962 and is powered by a bank of 36 solar panels.
Despite the presence of the lighthouse, HMS Goldfinch was wrecked in fog on Start Point in 1915.
Sanday boasts two golf courses: a 9-hole links course of 2,600 yards run by Sanday Golf Club and the one-hole meadowland "Peedie Golf Course" of 57 yards (52.1 m) (believed to be Scotland's shortest) at West Manse.
In 2004, three wind turbines with an installed capacity of 8.25 Megawatts were erected by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) at Spurness.Sanday Community Council successfully negotiated a wind farm community fund with SSE which will be benefitting the people of the island for the lifetime of the turbines, anticipated to be 20 to 25 years. By 2012, these wind turbines were replaced by 5 newer ones by Scottish and Southern Energy. This installation also generates income intended to benefit the people in Sanday, on the one hand via grants distributed by the Sanday Community Council and on the other by financing the Sanday Development Trust.
In 1996, the Sanday Development Group was formed to promote tourism. This group became Sanday Development Trust in 2004, which has a vision to:
create an economically prosperous, sustainable community that is connected with the wider world, but remains a safe, clean environment, where we are proud to live, able to work, to bring up and educate our children, to fulfill our own hopes and ambitions, and to grow old gracefully, enjoying a quality of life that is second to none.
Projects include the establishment of a sports hall and youth centre, the creation of a local sound archive, and a Countryside Ranger service.
A district tartan has been designed for Sanday by one of the island's residents, although it has not yet been officially adopted by the island authorities. It represents the sea, the distinctive sandy beaches and green meadows of the island, and the vertical stripes of Start Point lighthouse.
In July 2008 a concert held on the island was the culmination of an innovative musical project. The main aim of project was to set up a music-teacher training programme that would provide additional music tuition in the school and throughout the community.
A shop where islanders can sell craft products has existed since 2016.
There is a legend that a Sanday girl was once given a book called The Book of Black Art by a witch, and that the Devil would claim the soul of anyone who still owned the book at their death. This book was only able to be passed on by selling it. A local clergyman (Matthew Armour) took it of her hands and he managed to get rid of it by means not described in the tradition before his death in 1903.At the ruined Kirk of Lady, near Overbister, are the "Devil's Clawmarks": incised parallel grooves in the parapet of the kirk.
|Official name||East Sanday Coast|
|Designated||11 August 1997|
Seals and otters can be found in and around Sanday. There are several SSSIs on the island and the marine coast around the east of the island is designated a Special Protection Area due to presence of sand dune and machair habitats, rare outside the Hebrides, as well as extensive intertidal flats and saltmarsh.
A chambered cairn is a burial monument, usually constructed during the Neolithic, consisting of a sizeable chamber around and over which a cairn of stones was constructed. Some chambered cairns are also passage-graves. They are found throughout Britain and Ireland, with the largest number in Scotland.
Orkney, also known as the Orkney Islands, is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, situated off the north coast of the island of Great Britain. Orkney is 10 miles (16 km) north of the coast of Caithness and has about 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited. The largest island, Mainland, is often referred to as "the Mainland", and has an area of 523 square kilometres (202 sq mi), making it the sixth-largest Scottish island and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles. The largest settlement and administrative centre is Kirkwall.
Eday is one of the islands of Orkney, which are located to the north of the Scottish mainland. One of the North Isles, Eday is about 24 kilometres (15 mi) from the Orkney Mainland. With an area of 27 square kilometres (10 sq mi), it is the ninth largest island of the archipelago. The bedrock of the island is Old Red Sandstone, which is exposed along the sea-cliffs.
South Ronaldsay is one of the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland. It is linked to the Orkney Mainland by the Churchill Barriers, running via Burray, Glimps Holm and Lamb Holm.
Shapinsay is one of the Orkney Islands off the north coast of mainland Scotland. There is one village on the island, Balfour, from which roll-on/roll-off car ferries sail to Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland. Balfour Castle, built in the Scottish Baronial style, is one of the island's most prominent features, a reminder of the Balfour family's domination of Shapinsay during the 18th and 19th centuries; the Balfours transformed life on the island by introducing new agricultural techniques. Other landmarks include a standing stone, an Iron Age broch, a souterrain and a salt-water shower.
North Ronaldsay is the northernmost island in the Orkney archipelago of Scotland. With an area of 690 hectares (2.7 sq mi), it is the fourteenth-largest. It is mentioned in the Orkneyinga saga; in modern times it is known for its historic lighthouse, migratory bird life and unusual breed of sheep.
The Northern Isles are a pair of archipelagos off the north coast of mainland Scotland, comprising Orkney and Shetland. The climate is cool and temperate and much influenced by the surrounding seas. There are a total of 26 inhabited islands with landscapes of the fertile agricultural islands of Orkney contrasting with the more rugged Shetland islands to the north, where the economy is more dependent on fishing and the oil wealth of the surrounding seas. Both have a developing renewable energy industry. They also share a common Pictish and Norse history. Both island groups were absorbed into the Kingdom of Scotland in the 15th century and remained part of the country following the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, and later the United Kingdom after 1801. The islands played a significant naval role during the world wars of the 20th century.
The Calf of Eday is an uninhabited island in Orkney, Scotland, lying north east of Eday. It is known for its wildlife and its prehistoric ruins.
The Knap of Howar on the island of Papa Westray in Orkney, Scotland is a Neolithic farmstead which may be the oldest preserved stone house in northern Europe. Radiocarbon dating shows that it was occupied from 3700 BC to 2800 BC, earlier than the similar houses in the settlement at Skara Brae on the Orkney Mainland.
South Walls is an inhabited island adjacent to Hoy in Orkney, Scotland. The name is a corruption of "Sooth Was", which means the "southern voes" - as with Kirkwall, it was assumed that it was a mispronunciation of "walls".
Cava is an uninhabited island in the Orkney archipelago in Scotland. It is 107 hectares (0.41 sq mi) in extent and rises to 38 metres (125 ft) above sea level. The literal meaning of the name is calf island, a terminology often used to designate a small island near to a larger one. Cava is unusual in that it includes a small peninsula joined to the main body of the island by a narrow isthmus, which is in turn called Calf of Cava.
Broughtown is a village on the island of Sanday, in Orkney, Scotland. The settlement is within the parish of Cross and Burness. Sanday Airport is adjacent to the eastern side of the village and Kettletoft is to the south. The B9068 road runs south to north, through Broughtown, connecting Kettletoft with Scar. Meanwhile, the B9070 road runs south-west from Broughtown, and south beyond Braeswick, to the Sanday ferry terminal at Spur Ness.
Prehistoric Orkney refers to a period in the human occupation of the Orkney archipelago of Scotland that was the latter part of these islands' prehistory. The period of prehistory prior to occupation by the genus Homo is part of the geology of Scotland. Although some written records refer to Orkney during the Roman invasions of Scotland, prehistory in northern Scotland does not end until the commencement of the Early Historic Period around AD 600.
Tankerness is a district in the St Andrews parish in Mainland, Orkney, Scotland. Essentially a peninsula, it is about 13 kilometres (8 mi) south-east of Kirkwall and 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) east of Kirkwall Airport. The origin of the place name is uncertain, but it may derive from the Norse personal name "Tannskári". A "ness" is a promontory.
Scandinavian Scotland refers to the period from the 8th to the 15th centuries during which Vikings and Norse settlers, mainly Norwegians and to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, and their descendants colonised parts of what is now the periphery of modern Scotland. Viking influence in the area commenced in the late 8th century, and hostility between the Scandinavian Earls of Orkney and the emerging thalassocracy of the Kingdom of the Isles, the rulers of Ireland, Dál Riata and Alba, and intervention by the crown of Norway were recurring themes.
Hoxa is a small settlement on the island of South Ronaldsay in the Orkney Islands north of mainland Scotland. Hoxa is located 1 1⁄4 miles (2.0 km) west of St Margaret's Hope at the end of the B9043 road.
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