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Deerness, Skaill, St Ninian's Church, (Church of Scotland) Including Walled Churchyard and Railings

A Category B Listed Building in East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray, Orkney Islands

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Coordinates

Latitude: 58.9424 / 58°56'32"N

Longitude: -2.7169 / 2°43'0"W

OS Eastings: 358841

OS Northings: 1006355

OS Grid: HY588063

Mapcode National: GBR M5N3.22J

Mapcode Global: WH7CG.7HHH

Entry Name: Deerness, Skaill, St Ninian's Church, (Church of Scotland) Including Walled Churchyard and Railings

Listing Date: 8 December 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 352641

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB18572

Building Class: Cultural

Location: St Andrews and Deerness

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray

Parish: St Andrews And Deerness

Traditional County: Orkney

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Description

1798, altered, Joseph Mitchell, 1829, interior altered 1924. 1 x 4-bay rectangular-plan gabled hall church with corbelled, pyramidal-roofed birdcage bellecote to W gablehead; low single-bay gabled session house to W end; low, single bay gabled vestry to E end. Harled. Round-arched windows.

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: bays grouped 1-4-1. Tall window in each bay to centre. Boarded door, offset to left, in recessed session house bay to right. Window in recessed vestry bay to left.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: bays grouped, from left, 2-4-1. Tall window in each bay to centre. Boarded door offset to right with window to left flanking, in recessed session house bays to left. Boarded door in recessed vestry bay to right.

W ELEVATION: window, offset to left in gabled session house bay; gablehead stack; round-arched window below birdcage gablehead bellecote above.

E ELEVATION: blank gabled vestry wall with gablehead stack; round-arched window to crucifix-finialled gablehead.

Fixed timber-framed windows. Old Orkney grey slate roof; red clay ridge; coped skews; cavetto-moulded skewputts; harled, corniced stacks; cast-iron rainwater goods with some uPVC replacements.

INTERIOR: boarded, canted ceiling with central, hexagonal ventilator; boarded dado; 2-leaf timber-panelled door within round-arched recess from session house to W end; WWI commemorative timber communion table with blind arcade, carved chair and pulpit; round-arched timber-panelled door to vestry to E end; timber pews; timber-panelled door and fireplace to session house; hogback tombstone in session house, (see Notes).

CHURCHYARD AND RAILINGS: rubble walls enclosing rectangular-plan churchyard to W of church; rubble, square-plan piers with curved pyramidal caps to N of W gable; 2 sets of harled square-plan piers with curved pyramidal caps to S wall; timber gates; decorative ironwork railing along S wall; predominantly late 18th and 19th century headstones.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Features to note include the corbelled birdcage bellcote and the surviving stone slates. Built on the site of a much older building with twin, cap-roofed circular towers, depicted by Low in 1774, it takes its present name from SS St Ninian which went ashore in the bay in 1903. An important and well-preserved, red sandstone hogback tombstone dating from the late 11th to the early 12th century was found in the churchyard and originally belonged to the earlier church. The stone is 1.73 metres long with four rows of tegulae of roof tiles carved along either side, the tiles increasing in size towards the base and is now kept in the session house.

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