Island Life and World Wars
From the Iron Age to Iron Ships, Prison Camps and Farming Life
The Churchill Barriers were built in the early 1940’s– do you know who built them and why? Use our new Interpretive Floor Map to understand the significance of the huge natural anchorage called Scapa Flow. This beautiful stretch of water and the surrounding islands witnessed possibly the most momentous act in naval history when, at the end of the First World War, 74 ships of the captured Imperial German Navy were scuttled on the instruction of Admiral Ludwig von Reuter.
Can you imagine what life was like for islanders, for the servicemen stationed here and of course the Italian prisoners camped on Burray (adjacent to 3rd Barrier) and on near by Lamb Holm (where the inspiring Italian Chapel can be visited). Burray has been inhabited since Iron Age times, with agriculture and fishing very much at the heart of this island community. Our new outdoor display area includes farm machinery and a Grey Fergie, one the tractors that revolutionised farming in Orkney and beyond. Indoors we have a host of interesting and intriguing exhibits for you.
We would love to share our Orkney Heritage and would be delighted to give you a peek at Island Life in times past.