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This building is in the Orkney Islands Council and the South Ronaldsay Parish. It is a category A building and was listed on 08/12/1971.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: ND 4706 9084.


Dated 1642, renovated and re-roofed 1801. 4-bay, rectangular-plan gabled church with 4 arched windows and off-centre round-arched doorway to SE elevation. Date stones of 1642 and 1801 over door. Arched window and small bellcote with bell to SW gable. 19th century lean-to porch / vestry to NE gable. Roughcast harl with ashlar skews. Timber sash and case windows with gothick-arched glazing pattern to tympanum. Graded Orkney slate roof with stone ridge. Cast-iron rainwater goods.


Ecclesiastical building in use as such. The early 19th century interior is a rare survival and is remarkably complete. The communion tables running lengthwise down the centre of the church and the central box pew for the church elders are particularly worthy of note, and very few examples of either of these features now survive in Scottish churches. Communion pews are also to be found in the parish churches at Ceres (Fife), Glenbuchat (Aberdeenshire), and Croick (Sutherland). The exterior of the church is typical of the simple rectangular churches that are found across Orkney and is a relatively early example to survive intact. The Gothick glazing pattern adds significantly to the character of the church and was fashionable at the turn of the 19th century. Similar glazing is found at several other small churches in Orkney including St Columba¿s at Flotta, Skail Church, and St Magnus, Birsay. The church is believed to have been built in 1642, probably on the site of an earlier church. By 1795 the church was standing roofless and it was renovated in 1801. The Bellcote may date from this period, but its simple form could be indicative of a 17th or early 18th century date. A Pictish symbol stone that was found forming one of the window cills is now in National Museum of Scotland. Upgraded from category B to A on 4 October 2006.


Marked on Blaeu¿s Atlas of Scotland (1654) and most subsequent 17th and 18th century maps.. Statistical Account (1795) Vol XV, p307. Hay, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches (1957), p267. John Gifford, Buildings of Scotland: Highlands and Islands (1992) p310.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).