Papa Stronsay, Orkney
Vikings settled here in the 8th century and named the island Papa Stronsay, 'Priest Island of Stronsay.' So, from the period of the first introduction of Celtic Christianity to Orkney, there must have been a community of priests, or more likely, monks, living here. The Chapel dates from the 11th century with additions in the 12th. After the Reformation it was abandoned, seeing use as an agricultural building. Later the stone was taken to build a barn. When the University of Birmingham began excavations in 1998 all that could be seen were some bumps in the ground.
The Celtic design of the cross is from a cross-slab, thought to be a grave marker, dug up near the site in the 18th century. It has been lost, but a drawing exists which dates the slab to the 8th century on stylistic grounds.
Today Transalpine Redemptorists or The Congregation of Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer have established the Golgatha Monastery on Papa Stronsay and sometimes worship at this ancient site.
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