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Eday

A long narrow island in the Orkney Isles, Eday lies to the west of the southern tip of Sanday from which it is separated by Eday Sound. It has an area of 2745 ha (6,783 acres) and comprises a spine of peat covered hills which rise to 101m (331 feet) at Ward Hill in the south. Eday's fine yellow sandstone was used in the building of St. Magnus' Cathedral in Kirkwall and its peat has been exported to a number of distilleries throughout Scotland. Carrick House at the north end of the island was built in 1633 by the Earl of Carrick and amongst sites of archaeological interest are several prehistoric burnt mounds, field boundaries, chambered cairns and The Stone of Setter, one of the finest standing stones of Orkney. Also to be found on Eday are the ruins of Iron-Age houses, a small Norse castle at Stackel Brae and a 17th Century saltworks, The notorious pirate John Gow ran aground here in 1725 in his ship Revenge and was arrested. Eday's population fell from a total of 944 in 1841 to 198 in 1961; this decline has continued reaching 179 (1971), 147 (1981), 166 (1991) and 121 in 2001, but recovering to 160 in 2011. The island is accessed by ferry from Kirkwall and the neighbouring islands landing at the Bay of Backaland. There is also an airstrip, which is also known as London Airport.


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