CHAT 2016 - Rurality
21st – 23rd October 2016
Orkney Theatre, Kirkwall
Archaeology Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands, Orkney College, Kirkwall, UK
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Hosting the conference in Orkney away from the usual metropolitan centres will offer CHAT a chance to experience rural areas by situating itself within one. Orkney is both rural and island, and a microcosm for wider issues. In the past and present Orkney is a gateway, a crossroads and a hub, typified by recent renewable technology test sites. In this sense, the edge-lands are for innovators both in the past and present, and are orientated towards the future. With superfast communications technology, the internet and increased mobility, the dominance of urban centres for popular culture and social interactions is eroding. Are we ‘all urban now’ or is rurality growing new modes of existence?
We have identified a number of sub-themes and questions:
CHAT 2016 Orkney - Fieldtrips - (see Travel to CHAT map for locations)
Thursday 20th October (all day)
Alternative tour of West Mainland Orkney
Ok, so we start the fieldtrip at a large Neolithic stone circle, but the Ring of Brodgar is a focus for numerous issues to do with tourism, cruise ships, site management, landscape setting and energy. We then move onto the WWII Ness Battery overlooking the island of Hoy where wooden accommodation blocks survive with the wonderful mural of English country scenes survives in the canteen. A quick lunch stop in Stromness is followed by a visit to the Pier Arts Centre where a tour focuses on the themes of rurality and landscape amongst the leading collection of British Modernist art. This is followed by a tour of the EMEC renewable energy test site just around the coast where the Oyster wave device operated. The fieldtrip finishes off with a trip to Kirbister Farm museum where the smell of peat smoke from the central hearth will fuel us for the rest of the conference.
9:45 Meet outside The Shore Hotel, Shore Street (near the harbour and Orkney Ferries offices). We will be in 3 minibuses.
10:00 Mini buses leave
10:30 Ring of Brodgar stone circle in the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site
11:30 Ness Battery One of Britain’s best preserved wartime sites. Tour by Andy Hollinrake.
12:30 Stromness lunch stop
13:00 Visit to the Pier Arts Centre with tour of the gallery
14:00 Billia Croo renewable energy test site (with talk by Lisa MacKenzie and Catrin Sutherland of European Marine Energy Centre, EMEC)
15:00 Kirbister Farm Museum
17:00 Return to Kirkwall
Friday 21st October (morning)
10:00 Meet by the harbour slipway (‘Corn Slip’) on Harbour Street, Kirkwall (opposite Helgis bar). Tour of the historic town centre by Rod Rochmond.
11:00 Visit St Magnus Cathedral. Tour by custodian Fran Flett-Hollinrake.
12:00 Walk ends
Please note, Conference Registration is at the Orkney Theatre 11:00 – 13:00.
Sessions start at 13:00
Sunday 23rd October – 4-5pm 3M_DOI workshop (Torvhaug, upstairs bar, Bridge Street)
Planning your trip:
Come to Orkney, you know you’ve always wanted too! Book early to get cheaper deals and allow for extra time, we could have some weather. Why not come on the Wed/Thurs and leave on the Monday to take advantage of our fieldtrips? Check with us about accommodation in halls at
You can travel to Orkney by ferry from Scrabster and Gills Bay on the north coast of Scotland, and Aberdeen (Northlink http://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/ , Pentland Ferries http://www.pentlandferries.co.uk/ ), and air (Flybe operated by Logan Air http://www.flybe.com/ ) from four major Scottish cities (Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness). It can be cheaper to fly from London with British Airways. Train then plane is a good option. It is best to allow a day for travel each way. Do contact us for travel advice.
Rooms in new halls of residence next to the venue will be available, check with us first about discounts. Kirkwall has numerous hotels, B&Bs and hostels see http://visitorkney.com
More information will be available soon on the conference website. This will include detailed travel options and accommodation. A number of travel/accommodation bursaries will be available.