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'It may also be remarked, that there are many people of the name of Papay or Papley here still, as there were formerly, at least in Iceland; and both of these may have sprung from the same origin, namely the Hibernian priests, whose zeal carried them into distant lands, to dissuse the principles of their religion.
But, what is still more in point, there are also several places here which still retain the name of Papay or Paplay, which, when viewed with attention, seem to have something strikingly peculiar. They are all in a retired situation, distinguished for the richness of their soil, and the variety of their natural productions, no less than for the pleasantness of their exposure, and their agreeable prospect; and when all these circumstances are considered, along with some venerable ruins which some of them contain, we are almost compelled to believe that they were once the abode of men of that sacred character. In particular, there are two whole islands that bear that name; both of which, beside the ruins which they exhibit, are distinguished among the group for their commodiousness, their pleasant appearance, and the productive richness of their soil, no less than for their retired situation.
These might have been the chief residence of the Papae or Priests; they might have been their property; or they might have been places to which they at last retired, when their labours had become unacceptable to the people, and they had been driven from other parts of the country' (Barry 1805, 107).
Find out further information about sites in Orkney by clicking on the links below or by using the map above.
O1. Papa Stronsay
O2. Papa Westray
O3. Steeven o’ Papay, North Ronaldsay
O4. Paplay, South Ronaldsay
O5. Paplay, Holm
O6. Paplay, Eday
O7. Papdale, Kirkwall and St. Ola