Home Contacts
Main Sections:
The Island
Pharay Photos

Site Maps:
The Island
Pharay Photos

Related Websites:

Other website
The Glasgow Orkney and Shetland Benevolent Society

Introduction / The Island


The Faray (Pharay) Holm had been rented by the Burgars that were at Cott from around 1910. They moved to Ferseness in Eday in 1915 but continued to rent the Holm for some time after the inhabitants left Faray in 1947.

The island of Faray was rented to Mainland Brothers of Carness, St Ola from the time that the inhabitants left. Again, there was a connection with Faray. Maggie Mainland, their sister, had married John Meil and she and John had lived at Holland for about twelve years from 1924. Maggie’s brothers had the farm of Greentoft in Eday.

Faray was taken over by a Westray farmer around 1970 and he had animals on the island for around thirty eight years. Cattle were tried but found to require rather more attention than was possible when living in Westray. An experiment was made with deer on the island but they left the island and swam over to Eday.

Photo: Dorothy Thomson

Sheep were grazed on the island with the folk coming over from Westray and staying for a time during the lambing.

Through time, the old buildings gradually decayed and the roofs fell in. The school, being the best building on the island, was maintained.

Photo: Douglas Caldow

With no permanent population, there has been a growing colony of grey seals on both Faray and the Holm. In view of this, the island has been given conservation status being a Site of Special Scientific Interest from 1998 and a Special Area of Conservation from 2005.

After some thirty eight years being rented by the farmer from Westray, a farmer who came to Eday in the mid 1970s and has been successfully farming in Eday since that time took over the tenancy in 2009.

Printer Friendly Version Return to top of page