Interesting Info
Kolbein Hruga's son, Bjorn was a founder of Orkney education, forming the Kirkwall Grammar School, one of the most ancient foundations in Britain.
Useful Advice
The Wyre ferry also stops at Egilsay and Rousay. Ensure you get off at the right time!
Essential sites to visit
Cubbie Roo's Castle
St Mary's Chapel
Bu Farm
Cubbie Roo's Castle

Wyre ferryWyre is part of the triangular ferry run (departing from Tingwall) between it and the nearby islands of Rousay and Egilsay and is well worth a look.

The most famous landmark is Cubbie Roo's Castle, a thick-walled fortress, built in 1150 by the Viking Kolbein Hruga. It is known to have withstood at least one remarkable siegeSt Mary's Chapel and Edwin Muir's House and is one of the best preserved castles in Scotland for it's age.

Next door is a small chapel, St Mary's which is also 12th century and close to that is Bu farm, where the famous Orcadian author and poet, Edwin Muir, grew up.

Like Egilsay, this island has many more charms than just these sites, and a good walk will take you to marvelous spots for bird watching and seal spotting. Particularly worth a mention is an exhibition in the local school detailing Wyre's history.

George Mackay Brown
Kolbein Hruga: 'In my small island
Shaped like a spear-point
I have built this round tower.
There is no danger than any
Pirate or wrecker
Would take axe or torch to this shore.
Kolbein would see to it
They leave with burning beards, wrists broken.

George Mackay Brown, Orkney Pictures and Poems

Wyre landscape photo © Fraser Dixon, Cubbie Roo's Castle photo © Fraser Dixon, Eynhallow landing at Wyre photo © Fraser Dixon,
St Mary's Chapel and the Bu © Fraser Dixon. All text © Magnus Dixon. GMB extract © The Estate of George Mackay Brown.

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