Orphir Round Church Ruins

Orphir, United Kingdom

Today Orphir contains the remains of Scotland's only surviving circular medieval church. Built in the late 11th, or early 12th century, the Orphir Round Church is thought to have been built by Earl Hakon. Dedicated to Saint Nicholas, its design was inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

At the time of the church construction, the Great Crusades were in full swing and the circular church had become a popular design with returning crusaders attempting to copy the famous structure in the Holy Land.

Originally, the church consisted of a circular nave just over six metres in diameter and an apse. The apse remains today, along with a small section of the nave's eastern section.

The church survived, almost complete, until the middle of the 18th century when sections were pulled down and the stone used to construct the new parish church. The replacement parish church did not last and no trace survives today.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: c. 1100
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Irene Dayer (2 years ago)
Norse site with early church...distinctive round architecture..loved it.
gary spear (2 years ago)
Very interesting.
Stuart Ramsay (2 years ago)
Small museum but perfectly formed. Part of larger project across Orkney.
Julie Hodgkinson (2 years ago)
There is a small, free car park and visitor centre with displays and an extremely good video presentation that explains the links between the site and the Orkneyinga saga. The round church, the oldest surviving in Scotland, was probably built in the 12th Century by Earl Hákon Pálsson and said to have been inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which the earl visited after the first crusade to atone for ordering the murder of St Magnus. Also on the site are the remains of a hall, likely the drinking hall attested to by the Orkneyinga Saga.
sharan s (2 years ago)
Ok
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Narikala Castle

Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.

The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.