Shades of Broch and white

Ferries, the bain of my life, why did I never think of booking spaces on the ferry from the Orkney mainland to Hoy? I’ll never know.

We turned up at the ferry terminal for the Hoy ferry only to be told that there was no room on the 10 o’clock sailing, room on the next ferry but there was no way that we would get back off the island as all the return sailings were fully booked. Doh!

How about going to Rousay, they asked.

Why not?

I had never considered Rousay before, it is a large island just to the north of the Orkney mainland and unexplored territory, so why not… but can we first book places for the outbound and return sailings first as we need to be back on the mainland for our flight to Shetland tonight?

The ferry was interesting in that to get on, one has to reverse down a long slipway and it is the most unnatural things in the world to do is to reverse towards water, especially down towards a narrow loading ramp.

Rousay has a well preserved Broch, which is a curious round fortified dwelling, this one dates to the Iron Age, somewhere between 200 BC and 200 AD. They were built to a height, tapering inwards as they went up and double skinned with an outer ring of stonework. Orkney, Shetland and the north of Scotland has loads of them, although mostly all of them have been levelled down. One of the best preserved can be found in the Western Isles at Calloway.

This one is quite a distance from the road and down a steep hillside all the way down to the shore and therefore quite a walk back!

The broch itself is situated next to an abandoned settlement and a very large chambered cairn, which may be for another time, anyway, I shot a lot of near Infra Reds here with some colour work by the wee G10, although it’s the monochromes that I really liked.

Midhowe Broch, Rousay

Midhowe Broch, Rousay

You can get a feeling for the inside with this picture, a timber structure would have been built inside the stone work to give extra space to the inhabitants. The box structure on the ground was the hearth for the fire.

Midhowe Broch, Rousay

This one was a conversion from the wee G10 and is of a house built outside the broch.

Midhowe Broch, Rousay

Two images were blended together to make this picture, looking out of the broch towards the Orkney mainland. It’s lost something in the translation as the detail on the stonework around the entrance is easier seen on the larger version.


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  1. #1 by nonoymanga on May 17, 2012 - 7:29 am

    Good read, lovely monochrome photos. Thanks for sharing Nonoy Manga

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