Thursday, 7 March 2013

Bringing Home The Beacon

Brinkie's Brae, Stromness. It's a brae that belonged to Brinkie presumably? Possibly not...

We hold an 1852 plan of Stromness which names the hill 'Wart Hill'. Wart was the old Orkney word for beacon or pillar and derived from the Old Norse word varĂ°a.

In every Isle there is a Wart or Ward-Hill. the highest hill in the Isle, on the top thereof they used to kindle a fire, when they saw an enemy approaching.

John. Brand, A Brief Description of Orkney, Zetland, Pightland Firth and Caithness. (1701)

'Brinkie' is in the National Dictionary of Scotland as 'A comely person of lively disposition' and originates with the word 'Brin', a gleam or flash, which in turn derives from the Old Norse brenna, to burn.

And brae is a general Scots word for hill.

So. Brinkie's Brae, the burning hill.



The Orkney Norn, Hugh Marwick
The Scottish National Dictionary
Rotten Tomatoes (Picture taken from Lord of The Rings)

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