Westside Church, Tuquoy
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Some time in the middle of the 12th century a Norse chieftain built this simple rectangular building in a clifftop location. It is alternately known as Holy Cross Chapel and as Cross Kirk. The church was enlarged - probably in the 13th century, though the style of the doorway suggests a 16th or 17th-century date, possibly when the building was used as a parish church.
Near the church is a Viking settlement attributed to Hafliki Thorkelsson. The settlement appears to date to the same period as the church, so it is possible that Hafliki Thorkelsson also built the church.
The church is oriented on an east/west axis. The original building was made of 2 rectangles; a nave and chancel. The nave was extended at the western end, probably in the 13th century, but the original south doorway was preserved. Near the doorway are a round-headed window and a recess in the wall.
The chancel arch is also round-headed, typical of the 12th-century Romanesque style, and the chancel was barrel-vaulted, though it now stands roofless to the skies.
The original 12th-century walls stand some 2.5 metres high, but the later nave extension is only distinguished by foundation walls. There is a small graveyard outside the church, and a seawall protects the entire Tuquoy site.
Archaeologists discovered a stone carved with Viking ruins during excavation work on the site.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Westside Church, Tuquoy
Address: Tuquoy, Westray, Orkney, Orkney, Scotland
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: South of Midbea village, just over 3 miles south of Pierowall, Westray. Reached by ferry from island of Orkney Mainland
Website: Westside Church, Tuquoy
Photo Credit: Shirley Grant, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Pierowall Church - 3.6 miles (Historic Church)
Noltland Castle - 3.8 miles (Castle)
Links of Noltland - 4.2 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Knap of Howar - 5.6 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Noup Cliffs RSPB Nature Reserve - 5.7 miles (Countryside)
Holm of Papa Westray Chambered Cairn - 6.3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Yetnasteen Standing Stone - 6.5 miles (Prehistoric Site)
St Magnus Church - 8 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Westside Church, Tuquoy:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Westside Church, Tuquoy. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.