Welcome to Orkneyjar - a website
dedicated to the preserving, exploring and documenting the ancient history, folklore
and traditions of Orkney - a group of islands lying off the northern tip of Scotland,
Spotlight A brief selection of topics covered
the battle of summerdale
The Battle of Summerdale, in 1529, as any Orcadian should be able to tell you, was the last pitched battle fought on Orkney soil.
Although history and local tradition now treats this confrontation as a battle, it is likely that it was little more than brief, but bloody, skirmish on the boundary of the parishes of Orphir and Stenness.
When people first began to communicate in writing, their implements were crude, forcing them to make do with simple drawings that could be easily scratched on stone or wood.
Aside from the runic collection found in Maeshowe, one of the largest, and most famous, in Europe. there have been 19 examples of runes found in Orkney - as well as a few whose authenticity are open to question.
Viewed at a distance from the south-west, looking across the water of the Stenness Loch, the stones that make up the megalithic ring can be difficult to pick out.
In the thick mist that often shrouds the area, however, they become instantly obvious. They have a dominating presence, appearing as, just as the folklore dictates, lumbering giants, bowed down and bent, as though bearing a great weight.
These stone creatures, highlighted by an Orkney fog, appear to trudge wearily in a clockwise circle......