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Eynhallow in 1980.jpg

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Grid reference: HY359291
Area: 185 acres
Highest point: 98 feet
Population: uninhabited

Eynhallow is an island of Orkney of 185 acres; a small island and currently uninhabited. Its name is from the Old Norse Eyinhelga, meaning "Holy Island".

Eynhallow lies in Eynhallow Sound between Mainland, Orkney and Rousay. It is in area.

There is no ferry to the island, although Orkney Heritage Society organises a trip each July.[1] Otherwise, visitors have to arrange their own transport to the island by private local boat hire. Access can be problematic, as there are strong tidal surges in the surrounding strait, squeezed between Mainland of Orkney and Rousay.[2]


The island's main attraction is Eynhallow Church dating from the twelfth century or earlier, and perhaps originally part of a monastery.[3] The site is maintained by Historic Scotland.

In 1841 Eynhallow had a population of 26.[3] It has been uninhabited since the landowner cleared crofters away in 1851. It is now a bird sanctuary.

It has its own folklore, concerning the initial finding of the island. Eynhallow was believed to be the summer residence of the shape-shifting Finfolk, who were driven away by the farmer, Guidman o' Thorodale from Evie.[4][5]

Outside links


  1. Orkney Heritage Society website [1]
  2. "Eynhallow". Around Rousay. http://www.aroundrousay.co.uk/eynhallow.shtml. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Overview of Eynhallow". Gazetteer for Scotland. http://www.scottish-places.info/features/featurefirst1727.html. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  4. "Folklore". orkneyjar.com. http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/finfolk/eynfree.htm. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  5. Turnbull, Catherine (29 July 2010) "Exploring the Mysteries of Eynhallow". Kirkwall: Orkney News.
Islands of Orkney

Inhabited islands:
Mainland  •
Auskerry  • Burray  • Eday  • Egilsay  • Flotta  • Gairsay  • Graemsay  • Hoy  • North Ronaldsay  • Papa Stronsay  • Papa Westray  • Rousay  • Sanday  • Shapinsay  • South Ronaldsay  • South Walls  • Stronsay  • Westray  • Wyre

Other islands:
Eynhallow  •
Helliar Holm  • Lamb Holm  • Switha  • Swona