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About OHS


The Orkney Heritage Society was founded in 1968 when Laura Grimond organised a lecture to campaign against the demolition of Papdale House in Kirkwall.

Some years later Lady Grimond, using a bequest from her mother, purchased property in The Strynd, Kirkwall. This property is managed by The Orkney Heritage Property Trust in which the Society is represented.

The Society operates according to a constitution, which can be downloaded here.

The objects of the Society shall be to promote and encourage the following objects by charitable means, but not otherwise:

a) To stimulate public interest in, and care for, the beauty, history and character of Orkney.

b) To encourage the preservation, development and improvement of features of general public amenity or historic interest.

c) To encourage high standards of architecture and planning in Orkney.

d) To pursue these ends by means of meetings, exhibitions, lectures, publications, conferences, and publicity, and the promotion of schemes of a charitable nature.

The business of the Society is conducted by a Board of Trustees of about a dozen members who are elected at the Annual General Meeting.

If you’d like to become a member, please fill out the form here.

In furtherance of its objectives the Society organises public lectures, conferences and other activities, such as an annual trip to Eynhallow.

OHS have led and been involved in several key Orkney projects, including the study and promotion of Orkney Dialect, creating a new memorial to better remember those lost with HMS Hampshire in 1916, and in an ongoing project to create a new memorial to the victims of witchcraft trials in Orkney.

In recent years the Society has organised two major conferences: on the Neolithic Age and on the Iron Age. Proceedings of these conferences have been published.
You can purchase our books, journals and other publications here.

One of our most recent publications is the Henry Sinclair Casebook  by Vicki Hild. Henry I Sinclair was a minor Lowland Scottish noble, who became a trusted servant of a ‘foreign’ king in Scandinavia, after being installed in 1379 as Earl of Orkney, then still part of Norway’s Atlantic territories. The book touches on Henry Sinclair’s controversial voyage to America, supposedly carried out by Henry a century before the time of Columbus and provides an extensive bibliography for further research.
To buy a copy, visit our bookshop.



Orkney Heritage Society is a Registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC004033.
Orkney Heritage Society, PO Box 6220, Kirkwall KW15 9AD