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Laurenskirk, Southtown, Burray

Where the A961 leaves Buray Village heading east, where it turns to the last of the Churchill Barriers instead carry across to the road marked for the cemetery and Ness. Upon reaching Leith the cemetery road goes down directly by Leith's east side. The kirk was built in 1621, about the same time as the nearby Bow of Burray was rebuilt. In some ways it resembles Breckness P(a)lace in Stromness, if not quite so grand. I had been expecting to find foundations at most but it is mostly upstanding, if unroofed. But what most surprised me is that despite a lack of megalithic stonework this is most definitely a broch site. The church sits where the tower was, though I'm unsure whether it is centred or to the edge. It sits above the rest of the kirkyard as there is a two foot deep rectangular cut through the mound. The old wall at the east end looks deeper and a little different in character. The outer broch would appear to finish at this side as looking over the cemetery extension it just goes down to the low cliff - the broch surrounds the kirkyard on the north and west over to the path to the shore. When you think the stones must have been removed before ever (the present) kirk was built the landowners have kept it rather well preserved. It has elements reminding me of three other chapel brochs; the old Holm parish church and Warebeth in Stromness and Overbrough in Harray.

wideford Posted by wideford
15th April 2011ce

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