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Eynhallow Monastery

Architectural Fragment(S), Church (Medieval), Monastery (Possible), Settlement

Site Name Eynhallow Monastery

Classification Architectural Fragment(S), Church (Medieval), Monastery (Possible), Settlement

Canmore ID 2170

Site Number HY32NE 2

NGR HY 35902 28822

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2016.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Rousay And Egilsay
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney


Field Visit (11 June 1967)

Eynhallow Monastery is as described and planned by the RCAHM (1946). Surveyed at 1:10,000 (by Field Surveyor).

Visited by OS (NKB) 11 June 1967

Desk Based Assessment (21 January 1983)

HY32NE 2 35902 28822

(HY 3590 2883) Church (NAT) (remains of)

OS 1:10,000 map, 1977.

Eynhallow Monastery: The shell of a quite grandly conceived but curiously executed church consisting of nave and chancel with a western 'porch', adjoining a complex of buildings which have been variously claimed to be medieval and monastic, or to be post-medieval and domestic. While both church and buildings have undergone numerous and drastic alterations in recent centuries, it is likely that this complex essentially represents a monastic layout, possibly originating as a Benedictine foundation of the second quarter of the 12th century, and evidently extinct as a religious house well before the 16th century. The buildings have become overgrown with nettles. (See also HY33SE 17.01)

Information from OS (IF) 21 January 1983

Sources: T S Muir 1885; MacGibbon and Ross 1896; L Dietrichson and J Meyer 1906; J Mooney 1933; RCAHMS 1946; J Mooney 1949; I B Cowan and D E Easson 1976; RCAHMS 1982.

Geophysical Survey (25 April 2007 - 29 April 2007)

HY 36041 29076 A desk-based assessment and walkover survey of the island of Eynhallow was undertaken in April 2007. In addition, geophysical survey was conducted at two sites. Approximately 3600m2 of gradiometry was conducted over a suspected burnt mound [HY32NE 29], which revealed several diagnostic crescent-shaped concentrations of highly fired material. Approximately 1ha of gradiometry was also undertaken around the monastic site [HY32NE 2]. Although partially obscured by an igneous dyke crossing the survey area, there was clear evidence of settlement corresponding to the mound on which the monastic site sits and some of the anomalies also hint at features predating the extant structures. Anomalies were also noted that confirmed the

existence of rig and furrow cultivation surrounding the site.

Report to be deposited with the Orkney SMR and RCAHMS.

Funder: Hunter Archaeological Trust, Viking Society for Northern Research, Orkney Archaeological Trust, Orkney College Geophysics Unit.


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