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The Orkney Papar-names

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Chapter Summary

The Papar Project which Barbara Crawford directs has involved an exhaustive and no doubt exhausting study of the places in the Northern and Western Isles which contain the element papar, the name given by the Norse to the clerics of the pre-Norse Church (Papar Project). This chapter focuses on some aspects of the eight Orkney places which contain this papar element. Five of the eight Orkney papar-names seem secure, Papdale, Paplay (Holm), Paplay (South Ronaldsay), Papa Westray and Papa Stronsay. The connection between these papar-names and the pre-Norse Church is supported by archaeology including finds of sculpture in Papa Westray, Papa Stronsay, Paplay (South Ronaldsay) and possibly Paplay (Holm), and missing only at Papdale (Kirkwall) where nearly a thousand years of urban development obscures the site.

Keywords: Orkney papar-names; Papa Stronsay; Papa Westray; papdale; paplay



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