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Purkey Island

Region: West Iceland
Coordinates: 65.1333° N 22.5333° W

About Purkey Island

Island Purkey belongs to the Dalir District. The channel Skalastraumur separates it from Island Skaley and is passable on foot at the lowest tides. Island Purkey is indented with coves and surrounded with reefs and islets. In the past it was called Sviney (Pig’s Island). At that time it was occupied by a woman, Aesa Kjallaksdottir, whose son, Eyjolfur, assisted Eric the Red to prepare his departure to Greenland.

The home island is furthest east and north. The farm stood there and the home meadow to its southwest. Still further southwest is the Farm Cove. The church at Skard possessed a prayer chapel on Island Purkey for a long time and the number of topographical names on the island is amazing. The tidal currents were used to drive a grain mill on the island.

Island Stekkjarey is to the northwest of the home island. Just east of the Stadur Cliffs is Aesudys, the burial mound of Aesa. About one kilometer north of the home island is Island Helganaust, which was named after a drifted corpse. The island was haunted and most of the workers staying there during the haymaking did not want to fall asleep.

The last farmer stayed on the island until 1982 except during the darkest time of winter. Conventional farming was abandoned in the seventies, but the reaping of the advantages of the island has continued to this date.

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