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WESTRAY

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
WESTRAY, a parish in the North Isles of Orkney, county Orkney and Shetland, Scotland. It comprises the islands of Westray and Papa-Westray, and numerous adjoining islets or holms. There are 8 or 9 sailing-vessels belonging to the port, and about 30 herring-boats. The land is chiefly in common, but includes 3,000 acres under tillage, and 4,300 in pasture. Several quarries of flag-stone and building-stone are worked in Westray and Papa-Westray. This parish is in the presbytery of the North Isles and synod of Orkney. The stipend of the minister is about 208. The parish church was erected in 1845. There are besides an United Presbyterian church, a Free church in Papa-Westray, and a Baptist chapel at Rackwick. On the shore of the S.W. side of Westray Island are the ruins of a Roman Catholic chapel, designated the Crosskirk.

"EAST, a quoad sacra parish in the parish of Westray, Orkney Isles, Scotland, 4 miles S.W. of Papa Westray. Its length is about 6 miles, its breadth 3."

"LADYKIRK, (or Northkirk), a parish in the island of Westray, one of the Orkney group, Scotland. It comprises the northern part of the isle. Its size is 6 miles by 3. It contains the village of Pierwall, and forms a part of the united parish of Westray and Papa Westray.

" PIERWALL a village in the parish of Lady-Kirk, Orkney Islands, coast of Scotland. It is situated on the N. side of Westray Island."

"NOTLAND CASTLE, a stronghold in the Isle of Westray, Orkney Isles, coast of Scotland, near Noup Head."

"RAPNESS, a promontory on the E. side of Westray, Orkney Isles, coast of Scotland."

"SKAILWICK, a district in the island of Westray, county Orkney, Scotland."

"WEST, a parish in the Isle of Westray, Orkney Islands, coast of Scotland, 7 miles N.E. of Rousay."

"WESTRAY, an island in the parish of Westray, at the N.W. extremity of the North Isles of Orkney, county Orkney and Shetland, Scotland, 6 miles N. of Rousay, and 9 N.N.E. of Costa Head. It was formerly divided into the parishes of East and West Westray and North Westray, or Ladykirk, all of which, with the adjoining island of Papa-Westray, now form one parish. The island extends in length about 9 miles from N.W. to S.E., with an extreme breadth of about 4 miles. The surface in the western part consists of two ridges of lofty hills, designated Fifty and Gallo, but elsewhere is moderately even. The coast is rocky, abounding in precipices, and is frequented by flocks of sea-fowl. There is safe anchorage in Pierwall Bay, and near Noup Head are the ruins of Northland Castle; at Rapness is the Gentleman's Cave, where many Jacobites were concealed in 1745. The principal seat is Brough."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


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