The Brough of Birsay

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Looking east along the north coast of Mainland from the ruins of the Viking church, and first resting place of Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney, that’s St Magnus to you and me, on the Brough of Birsay.

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And south towards Marwick Head.

Wild and desolate but home success­ively to Picts, Celtic Monks, Viking Earls and an 11th century Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace.

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When you see the exposed strata on Brough Sounds you realise how easy it would be to extract the huge slabs the ancients erected all over the island.
Now, how they moved the bloody things is another matter. Wet seaweed is a great lubricant appar­ently and perhaps time didn’t mean quite the same thing then.
Ah, them were the days.

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