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Egilsay & Wyre

These two small islands lie to the east of Rousay and have a couple of interesting sights of their own. Egilsay's claim to fame is the murder here of St Magnus in 1115, and a cenotaph marks the spot where he was slain.



Local Sights & Activities for Egilsay & Wyre

The island is dominated by the 12th-century St Magnus church, built on the site of an earlier church, possibly as a shrine to St Magnus. It is the only surviving example on Orkney of a round-towered Viking church. Much of Egilsay has been bought by the RSPB as a reserve to preserve the habitat of the very rare corncrake, whose distinctive rasping call may be heard.

Tiny Wyre features strongly in the Viking saga as the domain of Kolbein Hruga, and the remains of his 12th-century stronghold, Cubbie Roo's Castle, and nearby St Mary's chapel can be still be seen. Kolbein's home, or Bu, was on the site of the nearby Bu Farm, where the poet Edwin Muir (1887-1959) spent part of his childhood. The far westerly point of the island, known as the Taing, is a favourite haunt of seals, and a great place to enjoy a summer sunset.