Infobox Scottish island

celtic name=
norse name=Strjónsey
meaning of name= Old Norse for 'good fishing island or 'good farming island'
area=3,275 ha
area rank=27
highest elevation= Burgh Hill 44 m
population rank=25
main settlement=Whitehall
island group=Orkney
local authority=Orkney Islands
references= [2001 UK Census per List of islands of Scotland] Haswell-Smith] [ [ Orkney Placenames] ] [ [ Ordnance Survey] ] [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] Pedersen, Roy (January 1992) "Orkneyjar ok Katanes" (map, Inverness, Nevis Print)]

Stronsay is an island in Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland. The main village is Whitehall, home to a heritage centre. It is 3,275 ha in size, and 44 metres (144 feet) at its highest point.

Sights on the island include the Vat of Kirbister natural arch and seabirds including arctic terns.

Orkney Ferries sail from Whitehall to Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland, and planes fly there from the island's airstrip.

There is one school on the island which is for both Primary and Secondary pupils.

Stronsay is the birthplace of author Douglas Sutherland.



Two flint arrowheads discovered at a site investigated by Orkney College in April 2007 are believed to date from the late Paleolithic or early Mesolithic periods some 10-12,000 years ago. They were found amongst a scattered collection of other tools on a farm. If confirmed they could be the earliest human artefacts found so far in Scotland. [Ross, John (05 October 2007) "Orkney arrowheads find points to Scotland's earliest settlement". Edinburgh. "The Scotsman".]

18th and 19th centuries

The island is now agricultural, but during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, kelp collection and herring curing employed up to five thousand people. The population while still high for a Scottish island was over a thousand for the entire 19th century, and up until the mid 20th century. The 1891 census, for example, recorded a population of 1275 people, excluding seasonal itinerants involved in the herring industry.

The kelp burning industry thrived in the 18th century, and some of the ruins of kilns can still be seen. It was started by James Fea of Whitehall in 1727, and lasted into the early 19th century.

The Stronsay beast was a mysterious, decomposing corpse of a sea-creature that was stranded in 1808. The carcass measured 55 feet in length, with the "neck" 15 feet and the circumference of the body 10 feet.cite encyclopedia | title = Stronsay Beast | encyclopedia = Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide | author = Newton, Michael | pages = 442-443 | publisher = McFarland & Company, Inc. | date = 2005 | id = ISBN 0-7864-2036-7 ] The corpse created a great stir, with some proclaiming it a sea serpent, but others have claimed it was a decayed basking shark.

Geography and geology

Like nearly all of Orkney, Stronsay is made up of old red sandstone which has produced a fine soil in many places. It is generally low lying.

With an area of 33 square kilometers (13 square miles) it is the seventh largest of the Orkney Islands. Surrounding small islands include Linga Holm, Papa Stronsay, the Holm of Huip (named after a district in north west Stronsay) and the Holms of Spurness. To the north is Sanday, to the north west Eday, Shapinsay and Mainland Orkney to the south west, and Auskerry due south.


While the landscape is treeless, the fertile soil supports a wide variety of wild flowers including oysterplant, frog orchids, adder's tongue, and also a naturalised population of Patagonian ragwort.

There are a wide variety of birds on the island, and twitchers have recorded many rarities here. The common birds include whooper swan, various ducks and geese, included the Greenland goose, as well as redshank, snipe, quail, skua, corn bunting and corncrakes (rare in Scotland).

The more unusual occasional visitors which have been recorded include:
* American golden plover
* Arctic red poll
* Pied wheatear
* Rustic bunting
* Scarlet rosefinch
* Tawny pipit
* Various warblers including: Radde's warbler, marsh warbler and subalpine warbler

ee also

* Stronsay Beast
* Papa Stronsay
* Stronsay Airport
* List of Orkney islands


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Stronsay and Eday —    STRONSAY and EDAY, two ancient parishes, in the county of Orkney, the one 14 miles (N. E. by E.) and the other 15 miles (N. N. E.) from Kirkwall; containing 2279 inhabitants, of whom 1268 are in Stronsay, and 1011 in Eday. These parishes,… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Stronsay Beast — The Stronsay beast was a large, dead sea creature that washed ashore on the island of Stronsay (at the time spelt Stronsa), in the Orkney Islands, after a storm in 1808. The carcass measured 55 feet in length, but as part of the tail was… …   Wikipedia

  • Stronsay Airport — Infobox Airport name = Stronsay Airport nativename = nativename a = nativename r = image width = caption = IATA = SOY ICAO = EGER type = Public owner = operator = Orkney Islands Council city served = Stronsay location = elevation f = 39 elevation …   Wikipedia

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