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Moodie Burial Place, Kirkhope Burial Ground, South Walls

A Category B Listed Building in Stromness and South Isles, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 58.7881 / 58°47'17"N

Longitude: -3.1535 / 3°9'12"W

OS Eastings: 333419

OS Northings: 989522

OS Grid: ND334895

Mapcode National: GBR L5LH.L3V

Mapcode Global: WH6BW.JCJT

Plus Code: 9CCRQRQW+6H

Entry Name: Moodie Burial Place, Kirkhope Burial Ground, South Walls

Listing Name: South Walls (Hoy), Osmondwall, Moodie Mausoleum and Graveyard

Listing Date: 8 December 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354329

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19905

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Walls and Flotta

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: Stromness and South Isles

Parish: Walls And Flotta

Traditional County: Orkney

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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17th century. Single storey, rectangular-plan mausoleum. Exposed rubble; dressed quoins and opening surrounds.

NE ELEVATION: round-headed doorway; roll-and-hollow moulded surround; rosettes and inscription in hollow; 'SOLI DEO LAVS HONOR ET GLORIA'. Triangular-headed window above door chamfered surrounds. Inserted armorial panel above; greatly weathered.

SE ELEVATION: 2 small windows below eaves; chamfered surrounds.

SW ELEVATION: 3 inscribed stones, greatly weathered: 2 heraldic panels; moulded frames; pediment with fleur-de-lys to left stone; graveslab below.

NW ELEVATION: plain elevation.

Fixed, replacement timber windows. Round-headed timber boarded door. Pitched roof; stone slates; crowstepped gables; square apex stone; curved skewputts with carved detail.

INTERIOR: flagged floor. Graveslab resting on floor; inscription includes 'Here Lyest James Robson' and dated '17. IR. N. 21'. Ledge built into SW gable wall. Replacement timber roof trusses.


Rubble flagstone boundary wall with stone slab coping encloses rectangular-plan graveyard surrounding mausoleum. Pair of square-plan gatepiers with deep coping, tapered towards apex, above narrow band course to S (replacement timber gate). 3 identical piers (main gateway and pedestrian entrance) to W (main gate missing); metal pedestrian gate. Some early 18th century gravestones remain. Other monuments of interest include broken graveslab beside SE wall of mausoleum carved with skull and crossbone. Sandstone obelisk commemorating the crew of the St Leicestershire of Grimbsy who died as she went down, 28th January 1938. Numerous Naval granite gravestones for those who died during the World Wars. WWI memorial by Reginald Blomfield, circa 1925, dedicated to the sailors who died; tall granite crucifix on granite base and inscribed plinth. Bronze sword fixed to 2 faces. Cemetery extension to NW (still in use) with concrete walls and Ian Scott's bronze statue of a life-boatman in memory of the Longhope Life-Boat disaster is excluded from listing.

Statement of Interest

The name 'Osnawall' is depicted on Mackenzie's 1750 map. The weathered panel in NE gable apex is thought to have been an armorial shield for the Moodie and Stewart families, initialled 'FM' and 'MS' (Francis Moodie and wife, Margaret Stewart of Graemsay) (RCAHMS). The shorter panel in the SW wall bore the initials FM and MS and the graveslab was dated 1595 (RCAHMS), now effaced. A chapel, dedicated to St Colm stood to the W of the vault and was removed in 1887. The site of the chapel is depicted on the 1st Edition OS map. During the demolition of the chapel, a cross-slab with Celtic design was found in the foundations (now at the National Museum of Scotland). The Moodies were the principal landowners on Hoy from the later 16th century until early 19th century, they lived at Snelsetter and then Melsetter (see separate List Descriptions). According to the information panel within the mausoleum, the Moodies were kept within the vault and mummified by the sea breezes.

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