Sunday Evening Reflection – The Way Things Were


Orkney, with its well documented Neolithic and Viking heritage attracts visitors from around the globe. We are enticed by the narrative of our ancient past that is shrouded in the mist of long ago. We come to find the stories, to feel the kinship of humanity, to marvel at how we have prevailed over the millennium.

Orkney has many historical moments that speak of courage, determination, perseverance that are closer to our time. Tonight, I am remembering the way things were in the not so distant past. Join me as I enter the world of Kirbuster farm, where farmers shared a connection with the land.

Orkney’s soil is fertile. Even today, agriculture is the most important sector of Orkney’s economy, with most of its land taken up with farming – grazing for sheep and cattle as well as for cereal production. Farming today may be more efficient, but one thing that remains the same – Orkney’s farmers, over the centuries, have held a great love and respect for the earth.

Special thanks go out to my dear friends, Lorna and Carrie of See Orkney Tours, for giving us the most amazing Orkney adventure.

Kirbuster Farm Museum in Birsay provides a fascinating glimpse into life on a traditional Orkney farm during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The farmhouse was occupied until the 1960s before being reopened as the musum in 1986. It’s the last un-restored example of a traditional ‘firehoose’ in Northern Europe, with the house built around a central hearth and peat fire. There is also a stone neuk bed and a peat fire, with the rooms full of old household implements and furniture.Kirbuster Farm Museum