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Kirk at Burwick
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Kirk at Burwick

Found this Place fascinating, lovely Kirk at Burwick, a little history would be appreciated.

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Picture added on 27 August 2007
As far as I know, this is the old St. Mary's Church. I have a book, The soul of an orkney parish by Stuart D B Picken which goes into great detail of the churches of South Ronaldsay and Burray but it obviously has too much info for me to pass on here. An interesting extract originally translated from Latin - "South Ronaldsay, another island, where very strong men live, has a temple next the sea shore, in which there is an extremely hard stone (in local dialect 'a grey whin') six feet long and four feet broad, in which are the imprints of two bare feet, which indeed no workman could have made. Old men narrate the tale of a certain Gaul expelled from his homeland and seeking asylum boarded a ship. Suddenly, on the voyage, a great storm arose and the ship's company were exposed to danger and suffered shipwreck. He at length jumped on the back of a monster and made a vow in humble prayer to God, that should he be carried a safe man to land, he would build a church to St Mary the Virgin, in commemoration of the event. The prayer being heard, he was carried safely ashore by the assistance of the monster. Then after this, the monster changed into a stone, the same in colour as itself, which he placed in the church where it still remains as I said above."
Also interesting (to me anyway) is that an ancestor of mine, Walter Wooleritch (spellings varied in those days) was awarded the contract in 1657 to repair the roof and make it wind and watertight for £16!
Added by Kevin Wooldrage on 27 August 2007

Thanks for your contribution, the more I kook into these pictures I have the more I would like to know, I am reading most of the GMB books at the moment soon to move on, Picken seems excellent.

Thanks again.
Added by Jim Leonard on 29 August 2007
It's true there is a stone inside the kirk with 2 footprints in it but i do not know its background. The kirkis still relatively watertight and is cleaned regularly, that it why the inside is so well preserved.
Added by Rhegan on 01 August 2009
The kirk is in need of some roof repairs again after a lighting strike.
Added by Bruce on 27 March 2013
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South Ronaldsay

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