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Orkney Heritage Society has published books, journals and newsletters, both on its own and in conjunction with other organisations and professional publishers.

The New Orkney Antiquarian Journal was first published in 1999 as a joint venture with Orkney Archaeological Trust. To browse the contents of Volumes 1-9 click here.

New Antiquarian Journal: Volume 9 The latest editon of our New Antiquarian Journal is now available. This ninth volume of the New Orkney Antiquarian Journal is devoted to the Orkney Heritage Society’s project to commemorate the victims of the Witchcraft trials held in Orkney between 1594 and 1706. This project ran from 2013 till 2019 and culminated in the unveiling of a memorial stone at Gallow Ha at the top of Clay Loan in Kirkwall on 9th March 2019. Other events that day included a mini conference at which several papers were read; some of these, together with some commissioned subsequently, form the basis of the seven articles now included in this volume.

We believe this new journal represents a significant contribution to the literature on the witchcraft trials of Scotland, tackled so comprehensively by Edinburgh University’s Survey of Scottish Witchcraft and ensuing publications of nearly two decades ago. The articles now published show these trials took place in a wider religious and political context than many today have realised, and the victims of these trials were often innocent scapegoats for men in positions of authority. It is hoped that this volume will educate a wide readership and form part of the legacy deserving of these persecuted innocents.
For more detail, visit our online bookshop.



In 2019 we published 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.



SPECIAL OFFER: New Orkney Antiquarian Journal:

Volumes 1 to 6 – only £30 (plus postage).






Volume 8 was published in September 2018. It commemorates two significant milestones in the historiography of Orkney; the death of Willie Thomson in 2016 and the 50th Anniversary of the Orkney Heritage Society in 2018.

All but one of the authors of the papers were either peers or former pupils of Willie Thomson, or are past or present Chairs of the Society. The exception is Else Mundal, whose contribution makes a trilogy of new perspectives on early 12th century Orkney. More detail here.

Volumes 1 to 8 of the New Orkney Antiquarian Journal and other OHS publications can be purchased via our online bookshop.



On 5 June 1916, HMS Hampshire left the Royal Navy’s anchorage at Scapa Flow, Orkney, bound for Russia.  Lord Kitchener was on board as part of a diplomatic and military mission aimed at boosting Russia’s efforts on the Eastern Front.  At about quarter to nine in the evening, in stormy conditions and within two miles of Orkney’s northwest shore, she struck a mine laid by German submarine U-75. Only twelve survived, 737 perished including Kitchener.

To help commemorate the centenary, twelve authors with local knowledge have pooled their expertise to sort fact from fiction with an objective review of the many books, press cuttings and copious unpublished records now available.

HMS Hampshire: A Century of Myths and Mysteries Unravelled
is now available for sale online from the Orkney Heritage Society’s online bookshop.

Past Orkney Heritage Society newsletters and a searchable index for them can be found here.