Birsay, a parish of Orkney, has seen human settlement for more than 5000 years and is rich in Neolithic, Iron Age and Pictish archaeology.
In the later part of the first century AD it became the centre of Viking power in the days of Earl Thorfin.
Orkneys’ first cathedral was in Birsay, and it became the resting place in 1116 for the body of murdered St. Magnus.
The current church of St. Magnus Church now stands on the original cathedral foundations.
The Borsay Heritage Trust was established in 1998 by the citizens of Birsay concerned that historically interesting sites are rapidly decaying or disappearing, and that living memory of these will soon fade.
Several times a year, the Birsay Community Council publishes a newsletter: ‘Roond Aboot Birsay’.
As each new issue is published it is added to the website for your enjoyment.
Gilsland is a small village of around 400 souls, situated uncomfortably astride the Northumberland / Cumbria border – which is here defined by the River Irthing and its tributary the Poltross Burn.
Gilsland contains many interesting and historic buildings and other sites, but as most fail to fall into officially approved “heritage” periods or myths they are rarely mentioned.
The area is also fascinating geologically as fossiliferous, coal-bearing Lower Carboniferous limestones, sandstones and shales outcrop in river gorges and crags.
View the latest Glsland newsletter online