Just a glimpse at Pierowall from the air tells you all you need to know about why the Vikings held Pierowall in such high esteem. It’s a massive, sheltered and shallow bay, perfect for any boat in a storm. The island of Westray is also a closer point to Shetland and all points north than other parts of Orkney. Imagine the sight of Viking Longships from the north entering the bay to be greeted by the wealthy fishing, farming, trading and occasionally maybe raiding community there. It must have been a majestic site.
In earlier times Pierowall was simply called Hofn, meaning harbour. It’s a perfect, literal, functional name for the place.