Monday, February 25, 2013

LUNNA KIRK


Lunna Kirk is in the Shetland Islands. It is located on the north east of Mainland on East Lunna Voe, north of Vidlin, near Lunna House that is famed for its role in the Shetland Bus operation during World War 2.



Lunna Kirk, St Margaret's Church, is known as "The ancient kirk of Lunna". It's the oldest church in Shetland that is still in regular use.
The present church was built by the fourth Hunter of Lunna in 1753, but it incorporates parts of an earlier building that goes back to pre-Reformation days. It was the Hunter family mausoleum which exsisted on the site before the church was built. Two 17th. century graveslabs from the mausoleum are nowadays incorporated into the walls of the porch. 

http://shetlopedia.com/Lunna_Kirk 



Lunna Kirk is mentioned in the piece on the Whalsay Parish Church - see http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/whalsays-kirk.html   Here it is noted how similar the two churches are in their concept. While the exteriors are in stark contrast, both interiors hold the same surprise. The seating is set out sideways in a 'U' form on two levels around the pulpit that sits centrally on the southern wall between glazed openings that have a similar logic and setout. This unusual sideways arrangement removes the grandeur and awe of the traditional axial nave and gives the space a unique intimacy and human scale. There is a democratic touch to the whole arrangement with the minister located midway between the seating levels in a space flodded with southern light. Again, like the Whalsay kirk, the only axial access is that between the vestry located on the centre of the northern wall and the pulpit.




While the Whalsay Kirk was closed to visitors, Lunna Kirk, the older building, was open and welcoming. The images here give soime indication of the layout and feel of the Whalsay Parish Church. The crisp white of the Lunna Kirk exterior highlights its distinctive buttress walls and the articulation of the eastern entry facade. The western stair that provides the only access to the gallery is remarkably similar to Whalsay's manse stair. The leper hole in the southern wall extends the human, democratic touch of the interior. Like Whalsay, the Lunna details show a delicacy and thoughtfulness that continues right down to the flower in the window.





NOTE: 30 October 2014
It is interesting to discover that St. Malachy's Church in Belfast has the same sideways orientation as the Lunna Kirk: see - 
http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/drawing-belfast-command-character.html



9 MARCH 2017
NOTE:






Location: Lunna
Built: 1753, parts of this Kirk probably date back at least in part to the 1100's and is by far the oldest building in use for Christian worship in Shetland.
Lunna Kirk, St Margaret's Church, is known as "The ancient kirk of Lunna". It's the oldest church in Shetland that is still in regular use.
The present church was built by the fourth Hunter of Lunna in 1753, but it incorporates parts of an earlier building that goes back to pre-Reformation days. It was the Hunter family mausoleum which exsisted on the site before the church was built. Two 17th. century graveslabs from the mausoleum are nowadays incorporated into the walls of the porch.

The Kirk measures 34 x 17 foot, internal dimensions, with walls up to 3 foot thick, and with buttresses on the east side. Most of the construction is massive volcanic whinstone blocks from nearby, with a few sandstone details.
Before there was a road to Lunna Kirk, many of the congregation would travel there by boat. On the rocks below the Kirk, a ring remains where the boats would be tied up.
Although there was no church in use in Lunna at the time when the present building was errected we can find some relics of much older religious buildings close to the site. The best known feature is the remains of a small rectangular chapel with an enclosure dating back to the 12th century. They are just on top of Chapel Knowe, a large irregular mound probably of prehistoric origin only a few yards to the northwest of Lunna Kirk. This picture was taken from the top of Chapel Knowe which is nicely integrated into the whole landscape around Lunna House by the imposing gateway.
A few steps straight to the south of Chapel Knowe and straight to the west of Lunna Kirk--now hidden under thick layers of moss and grass and therefore barely visible--there are some irregular features which are addressed as site of a former monastery in old Ordnance Survey maps and monument records. Neither site has been properly excavated and no records do exist as to when the 'monastery' and/or the chapel went out of use.
Ref: Shetlopedia.

https://www.preceden.com/timelines/150324-the-history-and-the-here-and-now-of-shetland-s-christian-family

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