St Boniface's

National Grid Reference (NGR): HY 48810 05269, map


Munkerhoos, Papa Westray


St Boniface's

Construction materials: Stone (rubble, bound) - Used for walls; Slate - Used for roof;

It was founded in the 8th century but the present church dates back to only 12th century. An important church in the early Middle Ages and possibly the seat of Orkney's first Bishopric. Nave of the 12th century church is the core of the present medieval fabric and Trail burial-ground immediately east occupies the site of the chancel. The nave was extended west by 2. 5m in 1700 and measured 12. 5m by 7m. Furnished with box pews, gallery and high pulpit. Small crowstep- gabled Kirk built of rubble. Domestic Georgian windows to north and south. In north wall there is a blocked slit window which is probably medieval. Stone forestair to the west gable to a built up door. Apparently still in use in 1921 but by 1930 according to RCAMS it was disused and in need of repair. Before restoration in 1993, the derelict church was in very bad repair- holes in slate roof, timbers decaying, gallery and furnishings collapsing and everything very damp. The structures buried next to church in graveyard could be Pickish and known as "Monkerhouse". 2 grave-slabs have been found in the graveyard. Researched and written by J. Dowling, 2002.

Burial ground

Carved stone


Date: C12th


Date: C12th


Date: C12th


Date: C12th


  • Church: Founded
    Date: C8TH
  • Church: Build/construction
    Date: C12TH.
    People: New Building Constructed
  • Church: Addition (1700)
    Feature: Nave
  • Church: Restoration (1993)