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Hoy, Chapel Of Brims

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Hoy, Chapel Of Brims

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Brims, Chapel And Graveyard

Canmore ID 8921

Site Number ND28NE 2

NGR ND 2840 8821

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Walls And Flotta
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

ND28NE 2 2840 8821

The Chapel and graveyard walls appear to have been of drystone construction; only turf-covered foundations remain. According to Mr Nicholson, Mucklehouse, Longhope, human bones have been found in a level area some 30m W of the chapel, where there are several small low mounds. He believes that the chapel was dedicated to St John but this cannot be confirmed.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 17 June 1967.

The chapel occupies a rocky summit on the opposite side of the hill from the present-day township. The building survives as a rectangular foundation, with all four internal but no external wall-faces visible; it measures 8.8m internally from ESE-WNW and 2.9m in width. The doorway seems to have been near the W end of the S wall. The chapel is set at the centre of an enclosure 22m by 16.5m over a wall, which, where visible, is 1.1m thick. From the NW corner of the enclosure a broad bank runs towards the cliff-edge; some other exposed stones and hummocks, especially a group lying 30m to the SW, may represent earlier settlement or agricultural traces.

RCAHMS 1946; 1989, visited August 1987

ND 283 881 Chapel of Brims, ruinous.

Sponsors: Historic Scoland, Orkney Archaeological Trust.

G Wilson and H Moore 1997.

Scheduled as 'Chapel of Brims, Hoy... a low turf-covered bank forming a rectangular enclosure, aligned WNW-ESE, which is held to be the remains of a medieval chapel dedicated to St John. The chapel lies towards the western end of a second, larger rectanular enclosure, indicated by a much less complete bank; the larger enclosure possibly forming the precinct or graveyard wall. There are other less distinct surface features in the vicinity of the chapel; some may represent further enclosure or boundary walls while others appear to be the remains of buildings.'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 9 January 2004.


Field Visit (August 1997)

The grass-covered footings of a rectangular building, aligned NE-SW, are located on a gentle rise, 20m from the cliff edge. The structure measures 8.95m by 3.4m; the footings stand up to 0.5m high. The side walls are up to 0.6m thick, while the end walls are 1.05m thick. There is the suggestion of a doorway at the SW corner. A long, low mound of grass-covered rubble fills the interior of the chapel. The footings of the outer enclosure wall lie 4m from the S and W walls of the chapel and enclose an area 22m by 16.5m.

It is believed locally that the chapel was dedicated to St. John, although this has not been confirmed. Human bones have been found in a level area, 30m to the W of the chapel, where there are several low mounds.

Moore and Wilson, 1997

Coastal Zone Assessment Survey


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