The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme


Betty Corrigall’s Grave, Hoy


In the late 18th century, local girl Betty Corrigall became pregnant out of wedlock. The father of her child abandoned her, and so great was her shame that she was driven to take her own life. As a suicide, she could not be buried in the hallowed ground of the local kirkyard, and neither did the two local landowners want her on their property. So Betty was buried by the side of the public road, on the boundary between the parishes of Hoy and North Walls. 
Betty's coffin was uncovered by accident, many years later. The story was told that her body was so well-preserved by the peat that it had not deteriorated at all. During WWII, curious troops meant that her remains became more and more fragile, until eventually an army officer arranged a proper, final burial. It was not until 1976 that the present fibreglass headstone was erected - and a small, quiet funeral service was conducted.
Copyright 2011 Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme