Today, the Brough of Birsay is a small tidal island off the Orkney mainland. Between the 600s and 1200s AD, the area was settled by the Picts and Norse.
St Peter’s is situated on a rugged and exposed site, commanding views over the Bay of Skaill with Skara Brae in the distance. A simple lime washed building, the church’s only exterior ornamentation is a low bellcote with a ball finial. The interior is dominated by a towering pulpit reaching to gallery height, flanked by round headed windows. The austere space powerfully evokes the experience of Presbyterian worship in the 19th century when over 500 packed the building, each allowed a mere 18 inches of pew.
In the care of Historic Churches Scotland.