Sunday, 21 August 2011

Farays Apart

If these sheep on Eday, Orkney, look seaward, they will see an island that is named after them, Faray. It's pronounced 'fairy' and comes from the Old Norse - faerey - meaning 'sheep island'. To confuse matters, the island is sometimes spelt Pharay and often is referred to as North Pharay or North Faray. This is to differentiate it from South Pharay or Faray some miles to the south in Scapa Flow. The population of North Faray was 82 in the Census of 1861 and then fell rapidly to eight families by the late 1930s. After the War and following the severe Winter of '47 it was down to two families and desertion was imminent. A detailed account is available in an issue of  The Orcadian. South Faray maintained a permanent, albeit small, population until the 1960s.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looking over islands

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