St Peter’s Kirk

During 2003-4, we carried out the repair and conservation of St Peter’s Kirk on Orkney’s West Mainland. The £250,000 project was funded principally by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, Orkney Islands Council and Orkney Enterprise.


The derelict kirk had been on the Buildings at Risk Register for over 10 years and was identified as being of national importance as a rare survival of a rural parish church, largely unaltered since its completion in 1837.

The building was meticulously repaired, reversing decades of decay and deterioration. The original decorative scheme of the interior was recreated and items such as the oil lamps, which had been removed from the kirk, were restored and returned.

Our work won an Orkney Heritage Society Laura Grimond Award, an RIBA Conservation Commendation, a Civic Trust Commendation, a Green Apple Award and a European Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award.

Orkney Islands Council described the project as “an example of what can be achieved with faith and determination and with a team of professionals and skilled workers who have a true affection for the building. The project has stimulated interest in a wide variety of traditional building skills and in historic buildings generally.”

The project saved a unique part of Orkney’s heritage and transformed the derelict kirk into a place where visitors can experience a glimpse of life in the 19th century when church-going was central to the religious and social life of this hard-working rural community.

St Peter’s also hosts musical events and provides an atmospheric venue for the Orkney International Music Festival.


Visitor Information

Visiting St Peter's Kirk

Opening hours

April-October: 10am-6pm
November-March: by arrangement with keyholder.
Please contact us for details.

Friends of St Peter’s Kirk

Contact us to find out more about becoming a Friend of St Peter’s Kirk.

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