Papa Westray, parish (Orkney)

Grid reference

HY 488 527 (accurate position)

Six-figure easting & northing

348800 105270





Nearby places

St Boniface's Church, Papa Westray (ORK) (0.06 miles)

St Tredwell's Chapel, Papa Westray (ORK) (1.26 miles)

Loch of St Tredwell, Papa Westray (ORK) (1.36 miles)

Lady Kirk, eccles. Westray (ORK) (3.88 miles)

Westray, parish (Orkney) (3.88 miles)

Object Classification

Parish (extant in 1975)

Is linear feature?



NGR for St Boniface's Church, a twelfth-century church site, with early medieval carving. NMRS records a landsdcape with evidence of Iron Age and Pictish activity, Early Christian cross-slabs and a hog-back monument, all pointing to 'an important early ecclesiastical centre'. Some confusion is thrown on the arrangment of the parish and its neighbour, Westray, in the sixteenth century. Assumption 660 (1560 x c.1570) records 'Westray and Papy [ie. Westray and Papa Westray] ... haifand twa paroschinie, Our Lady parosch, perteining to the bischope, and the Corce kirk, pertainand to Mr James Annand'. But both Lady Kirk (presumably the centre of Our Lady Parosch) and Cross Kirk are in modern Westray parish, on the island of Westray. It may be that in the mid-sixteenth century Lady Kirk, the nearer of these two churches to Papa Westray, served as the parish kirk for that smaller island. This suggestion might be supported by the fact that OS 6 inch 1st edn map shows the island of Papa Westray not as a distinct parish, but as part of the parish of Westray.

Parish TLA




Medieval diocese


Parish notes

At certain points in its history, Papa Westray seems to have been included in the parish of Westray, where it combined with Westray-Ladykirk and Westray Crosskirk. But the relationship between these parishes has been a rather shifting - and puzzling - one. See Cowan 1967, 209 The same author (1967, 161) states that it was 'a pendicle of Ladykirk of Westray from an early period .. apparently united to the church of Holy Cross of Westray as one parochial cure before 1443 ... the parsonage revenues of these churches were diverted to different destinations, however, those of Our Lady and Papa Westray forming part of the bishop's mensal revenues at the Reformation'.