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Stronsay is an island in Orkney, Scotland situated to the North of the British Isles. Stronsay is part of an extensive group of Islands where the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea meet, known as the Orkney Islands. Stronsay's shape is irregular and its name originates from the Old Norse for Star Island. Stronsay is one of the inhabited islands in the Orkneys.


Stronsay History

Signs of human occupation have been found on Stronsay Island dating from Neolithic times. There is a possibility that humans have inhabited Stronsay from as early as 8000 to 10000 BC as flint arrowheads have been found on the island dating from this time.


The vikings are known to have made use of Stronsay Island in the 11th century. The "Danes Pier" is reputed to have been a harbour used by the Vikings. In medieval times Stronsay was occupied (as part of the Orkney Islands) by Norway, and was later annexed by Scotland in 1472.


Stronsay in the 18th Century had a thriving Kelp industry. Up to 3,000 people were involved in the collection and production of seaweed (kelp) for use in making iodine, glass and soap. Ruins of Kelp Kilns can still be seen on Stronsay.


In more recent historical times (early 20th Century) the settlement of Whitehall on Stronsay was the home port to an important herring fishery, and was one of the largest herring ports in Europe. At that time Stronsay Island was the hub of one of the busiest herring fisheries in Europe. More than 300 steam drifters were catching herring from the home port of Whitehall and almost four thousand workers were employed afloat and ashore. Most of the herring landed at this time was exported to Russia and Eastern Europe. The herring fishery on Stronsay declined with the depletion of herring stocks.


Map showing Stronsay in The Orkney Islands Scotland

Thumbnail Map showing Stronsay in The Orkney Islands Scotland.

A map of the Orkney Islands where Stronsay can clearly be seen coloured in Red. Orkney Islands, Scotland.


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