Orkney Islands

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Orkney Islands Archipelago of more than 70 islands off the n coast of Scotland. Mainland (Pomona) is the largest island, and is the seat of the regional capital (Kirkwall). Other principal islands include Hoy and South Ronaldsay. The land is a low-lying, fertile plain and the climate is mild and wet. The islands were conquered in 875 by the Viking king Harald I. They remained Norwegian territory until 1231. In 1472, the islands were annexed by Scotland. Scapa Flow (between Mainland and Hoy) was the major British naval base in both World Wars. The local economy remains predominantly agricultural. Area: 974sq km (376sq mi). Pop. (2000) 19,480.


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South Orkney Islands

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