North Walls Kirk,Lyness, Hoy



The main entrance to the Old Kirk is now through a door at the East gable which gives access to a lobby which in turn enters the main hall. The original entrance was through double doors at the West end and via a porch. This led into a  vestry area which has now been removed, but the doors and frames are still in use in other new rooms on the ground floor .

The main hall is suitable for a variety of layouts and activities. Presently it is zoned into dining, tv viewing, activity table, leisure seating, exercise  and office areas. The hall is heated by a multifuel stove and 6 cast  iron radiators. We have retained a recessed wall cupboard which now has glazed doors.

Lighting installations include ceiling , side wall and two central hanging lamps which are Morroccan and we augment this with several floor and table lamps.

There are seven original gothic windows: three West facing, two South facing and two North facing and these have been fitted with deep slate shelves

Between the hall and the kitchen there is a serving hatch.


The ceiling is original woodwork and possibly in cedar. Floor timbers are mostly original pitch pine and are substantial, being 7 inches wide and 1.25 inches thick. Area for the total floor is10m by 8.6m. The wainscoting is mostly original pine and careful attempts were made to replace it all in its original position. As a consequence the stains from the iron fixings of the original pews can be seen and denote their original layout. Other wooden panelling has been added to complement the effect.

The upper walls of the kirk have small plinths and we chose to fit these with six grotesques, two of which come from the Kirkwall museum and are copies of ones in the Cathedral, and the other four were made by us and friends. This church was originally "Free Kirk" and would not have entertained such decoration, but we think they are a quirky embellishment. For similar reasons we have added some stained glass to the arched window in the porch and this adds some colour.

The gallery balustrade incorporates a metal handrail which was original to the kirk and made by Carron of Falkirk.

The piano is German in origin and the story that comes with it is that it comes from one of the ships in the interned German fleet which was scuttled in Scapa Flow in 1919.