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|Meaning of name||spear head|
Wyre, viewed from Cubbie Roo's Castle, with the ruined chapel and burial ground visible.
Wyre shown within Orkney
|OS grid reference|
|Island group||Orkney Islands|
|Area||311 ha (1.20 sq mi)|
|Area rank||85 |
|Highest elevation||32 m (105 ft)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Population rank||59 |
|Population density||9 people/km2|
Wyre is one of the Orkney Islands, lying south-east of Rousay. It is 311 hectares (1.20 sq mi) and 32 metres (105 ft) at its highest point. It is one of the smallest inhabited islands in the archipelago.
Wyre's history is still very apparent, and it has two ancient monuments maintained by Historic Scotland, Cubbie Roo's Castle and St Mary's Chapel.
Bishop Bjarni grew up on Wyre, and was the son of Kolbein Hruga (see Cubbie Roo's Castle below), Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland says of him that he:
The poet Edwin Muir (1887–1959), known for his prominent part in the Scottish Renaissance, born in Deerness on Mainland, Orkney , spent much of his childhood on Wyre. In his autobiography he said of himself - "I'm an Orkneyman, a good Scandinavian", and commented that some of his happiest childhood years were spent here.
In King Haakon's saga, it is mentioned that after the last Norse Earl of Orkney, Earl John, was murdered in Thurso, his killers fled to Wyre. They took refuge in the castle, which was so strong that the besiegers had to thrash out a deal with them to get them out.
In the centre of the island is the roofless, but largely complete, twelfth-century St Mary's Chapel. Its architecture is Romanesque and demonstrates that the Norsemen, best known for their Viking raids, also had a cosmopolitan cultural influence. It has been partly restored.
The island is low lying, and is shaped like an isosceles triangle on its side. It is generally low lying, and is separated from Rousay by Wyre Sound. Rousay is to the north, Gairsay to the south, Mainland to the south west and Shapinsay to the south east. Bu ties with Ae in Dumfries and Galloway as being Britain's shortest name for a settlement.
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