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Churches and Chapels in Shetland


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^^ What's the kirk down at the water's edge at Voe in the three b&w Museum pics on this page? Its not the present day kirk that's in the two colour pics, it doesn't seem to exist any more. Looking at Google Earth etc, the road that goes to the graveyard and the old kirk these days seems to run right through the site of where it was.

 

http://shetlopedia.com/Voe_Kirk

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I just pray that I've got it right for a change

the kirk thats not there any more was an architectural mishap lol , and became structurally unsafe in the 30's 40's or so i believe,due to having too big windows n too little masonry which was crumbly limestone and yes it was at Baakka somewhere, by the by, the long low house thats close the site was left over from ww2 and housed the voe telephone exchange for a time before being converted to a house, the old kirk is very old as i said

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A relative of mine stayed in Bakka during the late 1960's and we used to visit her regularly so I am pretty familiar with the location. All signs of the kirk seem to have disappeared by then. There was an army camp there during the wartime. The foundations of the huts were still there then, indeed Bakka is was a former army hut. It could be that the military completely cleared the area. Indeed looking at the photos Bakka may stand on part of its site.

 

The ruins of the previous Olnafirth Kirk can be seen in some the photos. I was always puzzled why the original churh was a ruin while the present church seem to be reasonably new. I see that remains of its precedessor were completely expunged.

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^^ This is a newspaper quote pertaining to a Voe Kirk opening -

 

"A new parish church erected at Olnafirth, Delting, by the Heritors of the Parish, described as a commodious and elegant structure, was opened on November 21st 1868 by Rev. John Moffat, officiating Minister of the Parish of Delting."

 

Question is, does it refer to the one that was demolished, or to the current Kirk.

 

The current Kirk looks older than something built around the 1930's, although that's just a calculated guess, so I stand corrected if wrong. If it was built as far back as 1868 though, what was the purpose of the demolished one during the up to 50+ years both existed?

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The scale of the kirk in the old photos would suggest that it is at least two storeys tall to the eaves whereas I would not describe the current one as commodious.

 

As to the current kirk the architecture did not change much over the years so they can be harder to date. I seem to recall it was built of concrete blocks rather than the stone favoured in earlier times. However it is not uncommon for there to be several kirks from different denominations in a village. Walls for example has a Church of Scotland kirk, a Methodist kirk and the one mentioned several posts back.

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See http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/1208/details/voe+old+olnafirth+church+and+churchyard/

 

Also in: Shetland – an illustrated architectural guide by Finnie pg. 62

"Old Olnafirth Kirk c1700.

An empty shell with arched doorways. At the north end the aisle of the Giffords of Busta was reached by a forestair. The ruinous chamber below has an armorial panel to Thomas Gifford and Elizabeth Mitchell, married in 1714 (when he also extended Busta House thereby providing for death as well as married life), above the arched entrance."

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