About Orkney
 About the Site
 Search Site 
  The Trows

The Trows and the Collapsing Kirk

In ancient times, not long after the arrival of the Christians into the islands, it was decided that a church should be built on the side of a loch.

To save them time, the masons working on the new kirk decided they would use the stones stolen from from a nearby mound. For days they carted the cut stone from the ancient howe but it soon became apparent that they had made a dire mistake.

They learned that no matter how hard they worked at raising the church, little or no progress could be made in the construction of the building. They would built all day but then the following morning the always discovered that what they had built had been demolished and lay scattered across the heather.

What the builders hadn't realised was that the mound was the home of a community of hill-folk. Angered at the robbing of their ancient howe, each night the heathen little creatures pulled down what had been built during the day.

Finally, after a long period of no progress, a priest was brought to the site to consecrate the area and to discharge an anathema at the trows.

The holy man's intervention worked and the trows were forced to flee the site and take residence on another island. The departure of the peedie-folk allowed the masons to complete the church without further interruption.

Their departure was not without retaliation however. The unfortunate priest found that whenever he entered the newly built church he was struck dumb, although he no difficulty in speaking elsewhere.

As was the case with the islands' other magical inhabitants, many pious people believed that the preaching of the Holy Gospel finally drove the trows to leave the islands.

Section Contents

Back a page