Papa Stronsay

Infobox Scottish island

celtic name=
norse name= Papey Minni/Papey In Litla
meaning of name=Island of the "papar" near Stronsay
area=74 ha
area rank= 167
highest elevation= 13 m
population rank= 72=
main settlement=
island group= Orkney
local authority=Orkney Islands
references= [2001 UK Census per List of islands of Scotland] cite book| author=Haswell-Smith, Hamish| year=2004| title=The Scottish Islands| location=Edinburgh| publisher=Canongate| isbn=1841954543] cite map| url=| title=1:50,000| publisher=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)]

Papa Stronsay (Old Norse: "Papey Minni") is a small island in Orkney, Scotland, lying north east of Stronsay. It is 74 ha (0.3 sq. miles) in size, and 13 metres (43 ft) at its highest point.

According to folklore, some of the natives were descended from a female selkie. This was because they had horny skin on their feet and hands, and permanently smelt of fish.


The island has remains of two chapels. One dates from the eleventh century, and an eighth century Pictish monastery may lie under it. Other remains include cairns and a Burnt mound, and a number of abandoned crofts.

The island is one of the "Papey"s or "islands of the "papar". Joseph Anderson noted that:

:"The two Papeys, the great and the little (anciently Papey Meiri and Papey Minni), [are] now Papa Westray and Papa Stronsay... Fordun in his enumeration of the islands, has a 'Papeay tertia' [third Papey] , which is not now known. There are three islands in Shetland called Papey, and both in Orkney and in Shetland, there are severeal districts named Paplay or Papplay, doubtless the same as Papyli of Iceland"

The "Orkneyinga saga" recalls that in Chapter XVIII that:

:"Earl Rögnvald resided in Kirkjuvág (Kirkwall) and brought there all necessaries for the winter; he had a great number of men, and entertained them liberally. A little before Christmas, the Earl went with a numerous following into little Papey [i.e. Papa Stronsay] to fetch malt for the Christmas brewing."

Rögnvald Brusason was later killed in one of the island's churches in 1046.

A fertile island, it became an important centre for herring curing in the eighteenth century, but was abandoned in the 1970s. It is has been home to a Transalpine Redemptorist monastery (called Golgotha monastery) since 1999. The Transalpine Redemptorists are traditionalist Catholics, formerly affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X.

Geography and geology

The geology is middle old red sandstone.

A thin tongue of land curls west from the main part of the island, and then south to form the Point of the Graand (a local word meaning a "sandbar"). The island in general is low lying, reaching a mere 13 metres at its highest point.

There is an 8 metre high light beacon in the north east.


ee also

List of Orkney islands

External links

* [ Death of Rognvald]
* [ Golgotha monastery]
* [ Youtube documentary on Golgotha monastery.]

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