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Eagleshay, Orkney

Historical Description

EAGLESHAY, an isle, included in the parish of Rousay and Eagleshay, county of Orkney; containing 190 inhabitants. It lies on the east side of the island of Rousay, from which it is separated by Howa Sound, and is about two miles and a half long and one mile broad, and entirely composed of sandstone and sandstone flag: in some parts the strata are very much elevated. The soil is good, but is indifferently cultivated. This island, from its beauty, has been chosen as a place of residence by several distinguished persons: the families of Douglas and Monteith, its former proprietors, resided here, and even the bishops preferred it for their habitation. St. Magnus was murdered on the isle, and the church here, dedicated to him as the tutelar saint of the Orkneys, is said to have been erected on the very spot where the deed was perpetrated by his ambitious relative. In the month of October, the spongia palmata and oculata are cast on the shore in great abundance; and a considerable quantity of kelp is produced annually.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis