Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Papa Stronsay, kelp kiln 120m north of Mill

A Scheduled Monument in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.1519 / 59°9'6"N

Longitude: -2.5923 / 2°35'32"W

OS Eastings: 366222

OS Northings: 1029609

OS Grid: HY662296

Mapcode National: GBR M4YJ.Z25

Mapcode Global: WH8CP.47VD

Entry Name: Papa Stronsay, kelp kiln 120m N of Mill

Scheduled Date: 6 December 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9289

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: kiln, furnace, oven; Secular: kiln

Location: Stronsay

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Traditional County: Orkney


The monument comprises a kelp kiln which is situated between two bays on the W side of Papa Stronsay.

The arrangement of the kiln is most unusual, indeed it is the relic of an unsuccessful experiment at the turn of the 20th century. There are two drystones 'chimneys' 5m apart, one 2m and the other 1.4m high. The latter rises from a stone platform incorporating a fire-place like opening, which was accessible from a small rectangular building or enclosure. It is not clear how this arrangement was intended to work. Internal timber and iron fittings survive, although the iron is corroding.

The area to be scheduled is 30m in diameter, to include the kiln and an area around in which associated remains may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is a well-preserved, unusual type of kelp kiln which has the potential to provide information about the technology of the kelp industry, which played an important part in recent Orcadian economic and social history.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HY 62 NE 18.


RCAHMS (1984) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Eday and Stronsay, Orkney Islands Area, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 23, Edinburgh, 39, No. 229.

Thomson, W. P. L. (1983) Kelp-making in Orkney, Aspects of Orkney series Stromness, Plate opp, 97.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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