Eday Industrial Heritage....

by Bernie Bell - 10:13 on 22 February 2024

Eday Industrial Heritage…

Our friends Wendy & David live in Eday  - are in the process of renovating an old forge – and took part in  ORCA‘s  Industrial Heritage Project’s day of events.

Wendy emailed me with an enthusiastic account of the day and, with her permission, I’ll post it here…..

“We had a brilliant day with the Archaeologists last Tuesday. We visited Fersness Quarry in the morning, what an incredible place. They took stone from here for 100's of years, it is now a cathedral of industrial history.

The huge stone walls built up all around from reject stone to hold the earth back are so tremendous they brought to mind for me, the Pyramids! The hewn solid stone faces equally impressive. Here are some pics….




Pics by Wendy Alford

We pored over a giant map in the afternoon session in the Heritage Centre discussing the various sites of industry – kelp ( I didn’t even know this was burned in kilns and vital to the glass industry!), salt, smiddy’s – there are 2 known, apart from the tiny Forge in Redhouse and old crofts/farms. They gave a very good talk in the evening and the following morning came to look round Redhouse before getting the ferry back. Both Dan and Sean were bowled over by our old croft and identified features Dave and I hadn’t recognised, such as a corn kiln between the 2 dwellings, and different stone and building techniques showing different ages.

Here's a picture of the Quarryman's house. You can see it perched now quite near the edge at the top of one of the other photos. Although you can see on the old maps, it was some distance away when the Quarry was smaller. It’s extraordinarily beautiful stonework, clean smooth surfaces and neat, quite different from the other stone buildings on the island. Although apparently there were a few others built by the quarrymen, something else to look out for.“

Pic by Wendy Alford.

I particularly like Wendy's pic. which shows how the rock-cut and stone-built merge together.

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