OHS News

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21 November 2015Talk: Saints & Sinners, the Memorials of St Magnus Cathedral & OHS AGM

Spencer Rosie will talk about his new book 'Saints and Sinners, the Memorials of St Magnus Cathedral' after the Orkney Heritage Society Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 24th November, at 7.30pm in the St Magnus Centre, and will be available to sell and sign books after the talk.  All welcome.  Free entry.


Papers for the meeting can be downloaded from here.

03 September 2015Orientation of Kitchener Memorial

In the many visits made to the Kitchener Memorial by members of the Orkney Heritage Society, something surprising came to light recently.  The doorway - blocked up many years ago - exactly faces the wreck of the HMS Hampshire.  This means that the whole orientation of the Memorial was decided this way, and is why it faces the direction it does.

One of the plans for the Memorial Wall to be erected around the Memorial itself was to incorporate a slim marker stone pointing in the direction of the wreck, so it was discovered quite by accident.

If you are interested in reading more about the work of the Society in refurbishing and enhancing the Memorial, click on the Society's blog about the project - https://kitchenerhampshire.wordpress.com/.


28 April 20152015 Eynhallow Trip

We are pleased to announce the date for the annual trip to Eynhallow, this year it will be on Wednesday 15th July.  Tickets will go on sale from the Archives Department only of the Orkney Library & Archive from 2nd July. 

30 March 2015Opinions sought for memorial wall shape

The Orkney Heritage Society is seeking public opinion on the shape of wall proposed to surround the existing Kitchener Memorial, upon which ALL the names of those lost will be inscribed.  Plans are available at the Birsay Community Centre, or via this link.


12 March 2015Conference Open Day

The Third Research in Progress Conference will be held in the Orcadian Bookshop Gallery (above the Orcadian Bookshop) in Albert Street on Saturday 14th March.  A full programme of talks can be found on the Orkney Heritage Society's Research in Progress page.

Everyone is welcome.  It costs £5 for a the full day, £3 for half day.  Refreshments will be available.

11 March 2015Orcadian architecture found in the USA?

We were recently contacted by Dr Gunnar Thomson from Seattle, WA:

Prince Henry Sinclair (and the Orkney Island architectural style at Eynhallow) played an important role in building the Old Stone Tower at Newport, Rhode Island. 
I have identified the so-called "foundation structure" of the Newport Grant House as a lime kiln on the basis of two vents in the north and south sections that nobody else has seemed to notice. It was the opinion of historian James Isham (1895) that the Old Stone Tower had to be a Colonial windmill on the basis of his belief that the foundation of the Grant House had mortar and arches with triangular keystones -- just like the Newport Tower; and the Colonial Grant House was built circa 1670. Therefore, the Old Stone Tower had to have been built at the same time. My investigation of the photographic archive clearly indicates that there were three sections of an ancient lime kiln; and these are out of alignment with the later Colonial House. Also, Isham noted that Colonial builders often reused abandoned foundations from earlier structures. Prior to my research, nobody has found the industrial-grade lime kiln that was needed to produce lime mortar from oyster shells in sufficient amounts to provide the five tons of lime mortar that was needed to erect the forty-ton Stone Tower. This kiln would appear to be the missing kiln. Anyway, news of this development might provoke a renewed look at the evidence.

Dr Thompson also attached a document regarding the above - link

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