The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"NORTH RONALDSHAY, a parish and island in the North-Eastern Orkney Isles, county Orkney and Shetland, coast of Scotland, 3 miles N. of Sanday Island. It formed part of the parish of Cross till 1831, and was called Rinarseya by the Northmen. It extends in length about 3 miles, with a mean breadth of little over 1 mile. Its surface is low and flat, with the exception of a gentle rise towards the centre. The soil is sandy, with red clay upon red sandstone. The land is tolerably fertile, and large quantities of sea-weed are collected on the shore, from which about 100 tons of kelp are made annually.

In various parts ancient tumuli are to be seen, and on a promontory is a lighthouse, visible for 15 miles. Fish and seals are abundant round the coast, which has good anchorage in Linklets Bay, near Bridesness, and at Stromness. The shores are low and rooky, with Reef Dyke, Linay Altars, and other dangerous reefs. This parish is in the presbytery of North Isles, and in the patronage of the crown. The stipend of the minister is £120. The parish church was erected by the parliamentary commissioners. There is a Free church. The island belongs to Mr. Trail, of Woodwick.

"REEF-DYKE, a reef of rocks on the coast of North Ronaldshay, Orkney Islands, coast of Scotland. It lies near the entrance to Linklets Bay, off Cape Brideness, and has only 5 feet water, with breakers on it."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]