St Andrews  Orkney


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described St Andrews like this:

St Andrews, a parish in the SE of the Mainland of Orkney, whose church stands near the W shore of Deer Sound, 6 miles ESE of the post-town, Kirkwall, whilst Deerness church on the E coast is 12 miles ESE of Kirkwall by road, though only 9 ¼ as the crow flies. It is bounded NW by Kirkwall parish and Inganess Bay, N by Shapinsay Sound, NE, E, and SE by the North Sea, and SW by Holm parish; and it is deeply indented by Deer Sound, which, penetrating the land for 5 7/8 miles south-westward and south-south-eastward, alternately broadens and contracts, from 3 3/8 miles to 1 mile, from 1 ½ mile to 5 furlongs, and from 2 miles to 2 ¼ furlongs. ...

The parish thus consists of two natural divisions, connected by a sandy isthmus only 250 yards broad - St Andrews proper to the W and Deerness to the E. The former has an extreme length from NW to SE of 5 3/8 miles, and a varying width of ½ mile and 5 3/8 miles; the latter, in outline rudely resembling a topsy-turvy kite, has an extreme length from SSW to NNE of 4 ¾ miles, and an extreme breadth of 3 ¾ miles; and the area of the whole is 12, 830 acres. The coast is in places sandy, in places rocky, and sometimes precipitous; and the interior rises in St Andrews to 183, in Deerness at the Ward Hill to 285, feet above sea-level. The shallow fresh-water Loch of Tankerness (7 x 4 ½ furl.; 13 feet above the sea) lies 5 furlongs N of St Andrews church. The predominant rock is Old Red Sandstone, with interesting dykes of trap; and the soil is capable of much improvement. A curious cavern, the Gloup, has been noticed separately. Tankerness Hall, near the NW shore of Deer Sound, is the chief residence. In the presbytery of Kirkwall and synod of Orkney, the civil parish since 1845 has been ecclesiastically divided into St Andrews and Deerness, the former a living worth £308. St Andrews church was built in 1801, and contains 400 sittings. There is also a Free church of St Andrews; and three new public schools - Deerness, St Andrews, and Tankerness - with respective accommodation for 155, 55, and 80 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 99, 44, and 41, and grants of £91, 9s. 6d., £42, 16s., and £40, 2s. 6d. Valuation (1884) of St Andrews, £2094, 9s.; of Deerness, £2178, 11s. Pop. of entire parish (1821) 1548, (1861) 1681, (1871) 1733, (1881) 1695, of whom 828 were in St Andrews and 867 in Deerness.

St Andrews through time

St Andrews is now part of Orkney Islands district. Click here for graphs and data of how Orkney Islands has changed over two centuries. For statistics about St Andrews itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of St Andrews in Orkney Islands | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 21st June 2024

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