St Boniface Kirk

Two Pictish cross-slabs that were found in the kirkyard at St Boniface are evidence that there has been a kirk on this site since at least the late 7th century – probably originally founded as a base for missionary campaigns among the pagan Picts. The present building dates from the 12th century, and was enlarged around 1720 and furnished with gallery, pulpit and box-pews. Some of these have been restored and the kirk is in occasional use and always open for visitors. In the kirkyard is a very weathered hogback tombstone which has been dated to the 12th century; these stones were a Norse type, imitating in stone the longhouse with its roof of wooden shingles. The reddish stone is not local to Papay, it has been imported to mark the burial place of an important person.

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