Cross and Burness  Orkney


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Cross and Burness like this:

Cross and Burness, a united parish in the N of Orkney, comprising the south-western and north-western limbs of Sanday island, and also, in its quoad civilia estate, the island of North Ronaldshay. It contains a post office of the name of Sanday, with money order and savings' bank departments, under Kirkwall; and, bordered on the E for 1¾ mile by Lady parish, is on all other sides surrounded by the sea. ...

Cross, which forms the south-western section, terminates in a dismal moor of 200 acres, separating it from Burness. Well sheltered by Eday from westerly winds, it presents a diversified surface, which rises at two points to more than 300 feet above sea-level, and breaks down, at one of its heights, in a coast precipice perforated by curious caverns; a considerable lake is occasionally visited by flocks of wild swans. Burness, separated on the E from the greater part of Lady parish by Otterswick Bay, has flat shores and a verdant fertile surface. The rocks are sandstone, sandstone flag, and a little limestone. The neighbouring sea-waters produce enormous quantities of shell-fish. This parish is in the presbytery of North Isles and synod of Orkney; the living is worth £245. There are two parish churches, Cross, with 248 sittings, and Burness with 262. In May 1880, in making excavations for the foundations of an addition to the manse, it was discovered that the old building, lately demolished, had been standing on the ruins of an ancient broch. For schools and population see Sanday.

Cross and Burness through time

Cross and Burness 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 Cross and Burness itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

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


Date accessed: 14th August 2020

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