Skuvoy Stone crosses

From an information panel in the Thorshavn Museum

Gravestones from Skuvoy

Tradition says that an old graveyard has been in Olansgardur in Skuvoy. The tradition was confirmed in 1909-10 when they laid out a new cemetery there. Then they found the stones and also fairly well preserved coffins made of pinewood. According to Faereyinga saga Sigmundur Brestisson, the announcer of Christianity in the Faroes, built the first church in the islands on his farm on Skuvoy.

The age of the gravestones is a matter of opinion. Some of the crosses are shaped as crosses in [from] the Scottish and Irish area. For that reason some scholars suggest that the stones origin from Irish hermits. Other scholars have pointed out that the crosses are so simple that the shape alone cannot provide at basis for a precise dating. Similar crosses are for instance known from the churchyard on Herjolfsnes in Greenland from the 13th century. Based on comparisons with Nordic parallels the stones are likely from somewhere in the period 1100-1400.