The odd little church on the windy islet of Lambholm, overlooking Scapa Flow
, with its "Mediterranean" belfry and corrugated metal roof, is a poignant reminder of a little known chapter of Orkney history. It was built by a group of Italian prisoners of war, captured in the North African Campaign toward the end of the World War II. They had been brought to Orkney to help build the Churchill Barriers that seal the eastern entry to the Flow and connect Orkney's mainland with the smaller islands of Lambholm, Burray and South Ronaldsay.
The prisoners wasted no time in "improving" their camp, a dreary assemblage of Nissan huts (the British equivalent of US Quanset huts), by creating a camp square of paths and flowers.
Then, with the support of the camp commander and the chaplain, and under the direction of artistic prisoner, Domenico Chiocchetti the POWs embarked on creating a church.
Visiting the Italian Chapel
- Open dawn to dusk, daily, admission free
- Mass celebrated on the first Sunday of each month
- Telephone (011 from the USA) 44 (0)1856 872856