Place:Cross and Burness, Orkney, Scotland

NameCross and Burness
Located inOrkney, Scotland
Also located inSanday, Orkney, Scotland    
Contained Places
North Ronaldshay ( - 1831 )
source: Family History Library Catalog

A parish comprising parts of the isle of Sanday, and also the isle of North Ronaldshay. In 1831 North Ronaldshay was created a "quod sacra" parish in its own right. [1]

In 1497, the Earl of Orkney (Lord Sinclair)'s "Rentall Book of Orkney" recorded the Island divided into three parishes: "Parrochia Sancti Crucis" (now know as Cross), "Parrochia Sancti Columbi" (now known as Burness) and "Parrochia Sancte Marie" (now know as Lady). The 1595 rental maintained the same division, calling them Sante Crucis, Sancte Columbae and Beatae Mariae.

The "Report of the Estate of the Isle of Sanday" in 1627 (p90), refers to the parishes as "Sainct Colme" and "the Croche parish" but the kirk is referred to as the "kirk of Bwrnes". The reports lists 210 communicants in St Colme and 260 in Cross.

Research Tips

The historical population of Cross and Burness parish was as follows:

Year Population Comments Source
1627 ~600 470 communicants Report of the Estate of the Isle of Sanday p90
1801 1,318 Vision of Britain
1811 1,319 Vision of Britain
1821 1,400 Vision of Britain
1831 1,503 Vision of Britain
1841 1,464 Vision of Britain
1851 1,526 Vision of Britain
1891 1,084 Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland
1901 1,431 Vision of Britain
1911 1,312 Vision of Britain
1921 1,154 Vision of Britain
1931 971 Vision of Britain
1951 725 Vision of Britain


  1. The National Gazetteer (1868)