Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Eday

Your free text search term was pharay.

Eday, an island and a parish in the North Isles district of Orkney. The island, at its southern extremity, lies 3½ miles N by E of Shapinshay, 4¾ WNW of Stronsay, 6 E of Rousay, and 13½ NNE of Kirkwall; and extends 7½ miles in a direction nearly due N, to within 1½ mile W of Sanday, and 2½ miles E by S of Westray. It contracts, in the form of an isthmus at the middle, from an extreme width of 3 miles in the S and of 2 in the N; forms the headlands of Warness in the extreme S, Venness in the SE, Fersness at the north-western extremity of its southern division, and Red Head, a high promontory of red granite, in the extreme N; and has two excellent harbours, Fersness Bay, immediately N of Fersness Head, and Calf Sound, a narrow strait dividing it in the extreme NE from Calf island. The interior, which contains several small fresh-water lakes, rises to a moderate elevation in a ridge extending almost from end to end; abounds in an excellent kind of sandstone, which is quarried, and has been much used for building in Kirkwall, and even exported to London; comprises some fertile land to the E and S, with soils variously of sand, gravel, loam, and clay, but is mostly a deep heathcovered peat moss, a plentiful store of fuel for the northern Orkneys. By the trustees of the late Mr Samuel Laing the estate of Carrick, already noticed, was sold to the late Robert James Hebden, Esq., who introduced sheep-farming on a large scale into Eday with much success, his flock being composed of Cheviots, which thrive well on the island. He further improved a large extent of land around his residence in the NE part of the island, and built a commodious farm-steading, with water-driven machinery. His son and successor, Harry Carwardine Hebden, Esq. (b. 1841; suc. 1877), holds 7500 acres, valued at £1351 per annum. The antiquities of Eday co prise a number of tumuli, remains of several Picts' houses, and an ancient standing stone 16 feet in height. There is a post office of Eday under Kirkwall; a small inn stands at Calf Sound; and two public schools, North and South Eday, with respective accommodation for 75 and 82 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 49 and 43, and grants of £50, 17s. 6d. and £39, 4s. 6d. Pop. (1861) 897, (1871) 822, (1881) 720.

The parish comprehends also the island of Pharay, with its holms, protecting the harbour of Fersness; the islet of Red Holm, lying to the N of Pharay; the Calf of Eday island, flanking the outer side of Calf Sound; and the islets of Little Green Holm and Meikle Green Holm, lying to the SW of Eday-all, except Pharay, uninhabited and pastoral. Ecclesiastically it is united to Stronsay, forming one charge with that parish. There are in it an Established Church (1816), served by a missionary of the royal bounty; a U.P. Church (l831); and a new Baptist chapel (1881). Valuation (l88l) £1654, 7s. Pop. (1801) 7l8, (1831) 961, (1861) 979, (1871) 905, (1881) 802.


(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "an island and a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "islands")
Administrative units: Eday ScoP       Orkney ScoCnty
Place: Eday

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