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View of Eynhallow from Midhowe

Eynhallow is a small (75 hectares), uninhabited island, within the Orkney Islands.

The island is situated in the Eynhallow Sound, a stretch of water which lies between Rousay and the Mainland of Orkney. From Midhowe Broch and Cairn, you can get a excellent view of Eynhallow.

The strong tides (Orcadian: 'roosts'), on both sides of the island, make access difficult.

The name 'Eynhallow' comes from the Old Norse, 'Eyin Helga' ('Holy Island').

The island has been uninhabited since 1851, when disease and death among the four families living on Eynhallow, led to evacuation. The disease was thought to be typhoid, as it is believed that the well, Kairikelda, lay below a midden (a landfill for domestic waste), which polluted the water.

Within the island, there is a church dating back to at least the twelfth century, and possibly earlier. It was used as a house from the 1500s, until the evacuation of the island, in 1851. When it was realised that one of the buildings on the island was actually an old church, the roof was then taken off, to make it uninhabitable. It is thought that there could have been a monastery present on the island, prior to the church being built - indeed, the name of the island suggests that a Celtic church may have been present, in early Norse times.