Burra and Quarff


Burra and Quarff
   BURRA and QUARFF, late a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Bressay, county of Orkney and Shetland; containing 870 inhabitants. The district of Burra lies west of the Mainland, from which it is separated by Cliff Sound, and comprehends the isles of House, Burra, Halvera, and Papa, the two last of which are of very small extent. Halvera, situated two miles south from Burra, is a precipitous elevation, approached by a creek, and tenanted by only a few families; and Papa, a mile north from Burra, merely affords a residence to two families. House or the eastern isle, which is about half a mile from Quarff, and Burra or the western isle, which is mostly the same distance from House, are each formed principally of a hilly ridge, of rugged and irregular appearance, the former about five miles in length, and the latter about six. In one place, the isles nearly touch each other, the communication being carried on by means of a small bridge, consisting of beams of wood resting on two piles of uncemented stones: the coast of both islands is rocky. Quarff district, situated between those of Bressay and Burra, and forming part of the Mainland, is six miles south-west from Bressay, and consists of a valley, which is about two miles long, and half a mile broad, and is inhabited and cultivated; together with a tract of natural pasture on the north, and another on the south, about a mile each in length. The whole forms a pleasingly rural picture, ornamented with cottages on each side of the winding valley, skirted by the mountains, and separated from each other by verdant meadows, with the advantage of an interesting bay on the east and west. The southern part of the valley is defended by the Cliff and Coningsburgh hills, which here unite in a ridge, and the northern part by those of Tingwall and Lerwick, the highest point of which is estimated at 500 feet. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Lerwick and synod of Shetland; the patronage belongs to the Crown, and the stipend of the minister is £120, with a manse. There are two churches, of which that of Quarff is the principal, service being only occasionally performed at Burra; the church of Burra, situated near the southern extremity of the western isle, was built in 1804, and accommodates about 200 persons; that of Quarff was erected in 1830, by government, and made the chief place of worship, and contains about 300 sittings. A place of worship has been built for members of the Free Church.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

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