"Sandwick. par., on W. coast of Pomona, Orkney, 11,827 ac., pop. 1198; P.O.; the church is 5 miles N. of Stromness."

From John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887



  • The Breckness Estate 1625 - 1922: by James M. Irvine. Printed 1997.
  • Showyard on the Heather - The Dounby Show: by George T. Wylie. Published 1991.95pp.
    Over 140 years history of the West Mainland Agricultral Society.
  • The Quarrymen in Sandwick: by Sheila Spence. 1988. Published: "Old Orkney Trades" pp33-39.
  • Antiquities of Sandwick Parish: by John Fraser. 1923. Published: Proceedings of the Orkney Antiquarian Society ii, pp22-29. Orkney Archives.
  • Sandwick 120 years ago: by William Smith. 1911. Published: In the "Orkney Miscellany" iv,160. Orkney Archives.


Sandwick has only one cemetery, at the former parish church of St. Peter's on the north shore of Skaill Bay. It has three sections. The old section, surrounding the church, has 332 stones with legible inscriptions, of which the oldest is dated 1623. The new section, to the west, has 314 stones, the oldest dating from around 1910. A third section lies across the road to the east.

The inscriptions on the stones in the old section were transcribed c.1990. This work was updated in 2002, and the inscriptions in the new section are currently being transcribed. Both are to be published shortly by the Orkney Family History Society.


Church Records

Old Parish Registers

  • Baptisms, 1728-1854. No entries Feb 1738-Mar 1746, Mar 1748-June 1760. Incomplete 1769-70. Irregular 1775-80 and 1805-09.
  • Marriages, 1727-1854. No entries 1732-50 and 1752-78. No entries Mar 1783-Dec 1785, 1795-1810.
  • Burials. No entries.
  • Microfilm copies: by Registrar General: Baptisms 6902042, Marriages 6902043: by CLDS (Baptisms and Marriages) 101959.

Other church records (held at Orkney Archives in Kirkwall).

  • Ref: OCR/FC/26: Sandwick United Presbyterian Kirk/Quoyloo Kirk: Baptisms 1838-1936, Communion Roll 1925-1935.
  • Ref: OCR/KC/22: St. Peter's Kirk: Baptisms 1885-1935, Proclamations of marriage banns 1892-1935, Communion Roll (including deaths 1905-1917) 1862-1873 and 1890-1942, Non-communicants' Roll 1854-1902, Proclamation register for Quoyloo Kirk 1932-1974.
  • Sandwick Church of Scotland records 1754-1830 included in Stromness records.

Civil Registration

The Registrar of births, deaths, and marriages for the parish of Sandwick.
The Registrar's records extend back only as far as 1st January 1855 when registration became compulsory in Scotland.


Description & Travel

Sandwick takes its name from the Bay of Skaill, the only significant break in five miles of cliffs overlooking the Atlantic, its western border. The Loch of Harray and the tidal Loch of Stenness form its eastern border. The 5000 year old site of Skara Brae was awarded World Heritage status in 1999.

You can see pictures of Sandwick which are provided by:




Land & Property

From the 1620s until the 1830s the cultivated lands of Sandwick were owned by the Bishopric estate (the Crown after 1690), by the Grahams of the Breckness estate and, after 1787, by the Watts of Skaill House and by between 50 and 100 udallers (see Land and Ownership.) After the restructuring of land holdings in the 19th century the Breckness estate owned two-thirds of the parish. In the early 20th century much of this land was sold to the tenants, making most of it owner-occupied.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference HY263176 (Lat/Lon: 59.038824, -3.286304), Sandwick which are provided by: