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Lamb Holm

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Lamb Holm

Lamb Holm
Location
Lamb Holm is located in Orkney Islands
Lamb Holm
Lamb Holm shown within the Orkney Islands
OS grid reference
Physical geography
Island group Orkney
Area 40 hectares (0.15 sq mi)
Area rank 220= [1]
Highest elevation 20 metres (66 ft)
Political geography
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council area Orkney Islands
Demographics
Population 0
References [2][3]
Exterior of the Italian Chapel
The flooded quarry on Lamb Holm, used for the Churchill Barriers. In the background is barrier no.2.

Lamb Holm is a small uninhabited island in Orkney, Scotland. The remarkable Italian Chapel, constructed during the Second World War, is the island's main attraction.

Geography

Lamb Holm lies in Holm Sound, one of the eastern entrances to Scapa Flow, between Mainland, Orkney and the island of Burray,[4] It is 40 hectares (0.15 sq mi) in area.

The Churchill Barriers carry the road from South Ronaldsay to Mainland, Orkney. Lamb Holm is connected to Glims Holm, to the southwest, by Barrier number 2, and to Mainland by Barrier number 1.

The quarry used to build the Churchill Barriers has now been flooded and converted into a fish farm.

Italian Chapel

Built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II, the highly ornamented Italian Chapel is now the island's main attraction.

In 1942, more than 1300 Italian prisoners of war were captured in North Africa and taken to Orkney, where they remained until early 1945. 550 were taken to Camp 60, where they were put to work building the Churchill Barriers, four causeways created to block unwanted extra sea accesses to Scapa Flow.

In 1943, Major T P Buckland, the Camp 60's new commandant, and Father Giacombazzi, the Camp's priest agreed that a place of worship was required. Two Nissen huts were joined together to form a makeshift chapel. The prisoners, under the leadership of prisoner Domenico Chiocchetti, did all of the work to transform a simple corrugated iron structure into a work of beauty. The chapel was lined with plasterwork and an altar was made out of concrete. Chiocchetti painted the sanctuary end of the chapel. The beauty that he created led to the prisoners decorating the entire interior and creating a front facade out of concrete that concealed the shape of the hut and made the building look like a church.

Since the prisoners' departure, several residents of Camp 60, including Chiocchetti, have made return visits to the chapel they created. In 1996 a declaration was jointly signed by officials in Orkney and Chiocchetti's hometown of Moena, reinforcing the ties between the two places. The building has been lovingly preserved and is still used as a chapel.

Lamb Holm is classified by the National Records of Scotland as an inhabited island that "had no usual residents at the time of either the 2001 or 2011 censuses."[5]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands >20ha in extent and were listed in the 2011 census.
  2. ^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate.  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ "Lamb Holm".  
  5. ^ National Records of Scotland (15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland - Release 1C (Part Two). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland’s inhabited islands". Retrieved 17 August 2013.

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