Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cubbie Roo's castle

Watching the race from the new slipway at Wyre.
 We took a wander up to Kolbein Hruga's 12th century castle.
It is clearly marked on this old map at the visitor centre.
Rousay, Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay.
 We passed St Mary's kirk on the way.
This was built later in the 12th century after the castle.
Some parts have been rebuilt and it is still in use as a burial ground.

Cubbie Roo's 'burden' seen from St Mary's kirk.
 A wandering geophysics expert might be considering how difficult a site this might be to survey.
 Kolbein Hruga was an important man in Norway before he came to Orkney. He acquired land in the mainland parish of Evie as well as the island of Wyre.
He may have chosen to build a strong castle there around 1145 perhaps becuse he was the tax collector for the Norwegian king.
In Edwin Muir's day the castle was a grassy mound of rubble, and it may have been in this state that the ruin became the basis for the traditionally Norwegian style legend of the giant Cubbie Roo.
The view to Rousay from the base of the tower.

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