On Westray, a recent building is one built in 1100 AD. There are plenty buried in the sand which are older than that. Cross Kirk is originally from the 1100s and is reached by a coastal path past the Point o’ the Scurroes. The original nave of the church is paved with beautiful stones. The later 17th Century extension only gets a gravel bottom.
The word nave is from the same root as navy and navigate. It’s all about ships. I suspect the wooden roofs of churches looked like ships or were built by ships’ carpenters.
The churchyard is still in use nearly 1,000 years later.
There’s a chancel to the side. The origin of chancel is the same as the word cancel – it means crossed-out, cancelled, barred or a no-go area behind a lattice screen. Here I am in the doorway to the chancel. Either people were smaller in those days or the floor is a lot higher than it ever was.
I wonder how many of our new buildings will still be standing in 1,000 years time and who will be standing in their doorways?