Friday, 7 October 2016
The St Nicholas Church and burial ground stands near the shore of Holm Sound, the eastern approach to Scapa Flow. The surrounding area, formerly known as Paplay, is rich in history. This was an area of high status in Norse times, and it was in Paplay that Earl Magnus’ mother, Thora, served a feast for Earl Hakon in 1117. The Church of St Nicholas is mentioned in 15th century documents, and until the 19th century was the sole parish Kirk of Holm and Paplay. Through the centuries there have been several buildings on the site and the present one was renovated in 1818. The last service of worship was held here in 1939, and then it was commissioned by the Army for use during World War2. When it was put on the open market by The Church of Scotland in 2009, there was a public meeting at which a management committee was formed to take responsibility for raising funds and acquiring the building. After a public appeal for funds it was bought by The Friends of St Nicholas in December 2009.