Friday, September 11, 2009

Travel to Trumland.

Yesterday we took the car-ferry Eynhallow from Tingwall to Rousay to visit Trumland, an estate famous in Orkney for its singular clearances of tenant farmers in the 1840s and 1850s. The seas were moderate to rough in this small 25-minute crossing, and as we sat over steak and ale pie at the Pier restaurant, we could watch the "roost", a swift and dangerous tide running in this narrow strait separating Rousay Island from the Mainland of Orkney. Fishermen drowned in this fierce tide, which today our car-ferry surmounted easily with powerful engines.

in 1846, the "Little General", George William Traill, 1792-1847, cleared his land of 210 people to enclose the fields and modernize his "farm" and it is this history I have come to understand, the only clearance in all of Orkney. So we walked up the hill and onto the infamous Trumland Estate, up the sweeping entry, past two guardian English lions. Only the gardens were open, but we could see much evidence of reconstruction on the house and gardens. A fire damaged the roof of this large estate in 1986 after a ghostly sighting of the "Little General", but the new owners have persevered, perhaps one day to open the house to the public. We wandered through the small garden; here, fuscias grow as large as trees, warmed by the Gulf Stream.

The slideshow includes some pictures of the very beautiful St. Magnus Cathedral here in Kirkwall, begun in 1147, and stunning in its size and use of Orkney red sandstone. Inside the Romanesque style columns bring your eye up and up to the ceiling. We heard an organist practicing here, the sounds rising and echoing throughout the church. You'll also see the Ring of Brodgar and one shot of Skara Brae, a Neolithic Village. Today, a somewhat foggy day, it's back to the library and research in the archives, for tomorrow we leave for Lerwick in the Shetlands.

Orkney and Shetland

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