Dimensions: I-P.5

Rackwick

Rackwick Bay is carved out of the red sandstone cliffs of Hoy, open to the rushing waters of the Pentland Firth, which inspired this collection’s swirling shapes.

Early records suggest there was a small Norse settlement in this place that collected the bounties of the sea: the name Rackwick means ‘wreckage bay.’ It is connected to the rest of Hoy by two vast glacial valleys, rich in folk tales of giants, trows and water horses.


In the 1950s and 60s, the valley emptied of people. George Mackay Brown wrote:


The poignant thing about this beautiful valley is that, apart from Glen, farmed by Jack Rendall, it has been utterly abandoned. The floor of the valley and its fertile western slope are littered with half-ruined crofts – the windows blind, the roofs fallen in.

One of those was Burnmouth, which Ola visited as a young girl when it was still a working croft. Now it’s a bothy, run by the Hoy Trust for the benefit of campers and other visitors.


For Rackwick is anything but abandoned. George’s lament for a dying community attracted sympathetic visitors from Orkney and beyond and encouraged its rebirth. Artist Sylvia Wishart and composer Peter Maxwell Davies portrayed the valley in their work. Folk from Stromness visited, renovating and restoring, till now only a handful of ruins remain.


The tiny carpark fills for a few hours on summer days, but by evening it’s empty again, leaving you alone with the cliffs, the beach, the waves and the birds. Whether the giants, trows and the ghosts of centuries keep you company is a matter for you and your imagination.

Rackwick Jewellery

RNG-SIL-00407-I

Rackwick Ladies Ring

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Rackwick Bay is carved out of the red sandstone cliffs of Hoy, open to the rushing waters of the Pentland Firth, which inspired this collection’s swirling shapes.

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