Imaginary tours of Orkney from Elsewhere: Mapping archipelagos in East London

Public Archaeology 2015

Before moving to London in 2012 we lived on the Åland Islands, population 28,000 and with a similar population density to Orkney. Bearing that sense of scale in mind and with London large and sprawling and Orkney surrounded by the sea, we decided to limit our mapping to an area containing the same population as Orkney, c 21,000.

In London this is, on average and approximately, an area a mile by a mile and a half. We drew a rectangle, of similar proportions to one drawn around Orkney, and centred it on Kirkwall Place in east London. We mapped the stops on the Imaginary tours of Orkney from Elsewhere itinerary by eye then explored like this:

We flew to Kirkwall via the District and Central Lines (listen here), touching down at the Bethnal Green terminal and proceeding directly to Kirkwall Place.

We found some rock…

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