Rysa Little is an uninhabited island in the Orkney archipelago in Scotland. It is approximately 32 hectares (79 acres) in area, and rises to 20 metres (66 feet) above sea level.

Rysa Little
Meaning of nameOld Norse and English meaning 'little heap of stones'.
Rysa Little viewed from Pegal Head on Hoy
Rysa Little viewed from Pegal Head on Hoy
Rysa Little is located in Orkney Islands
Rysa Little
Rysa Little
Rysa Little shown within Orkney
OS grid referenceND310976
Coordinates58°52′N 3°12′W / 58.86°N 3.20°W / 58.86; -3.20
Physical geography
Island groupOrkney
Area32 hectares (0.12 sq mi)
Highest elevation20 metres (66 ft)
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Council areaOrkney Islands
An abandoned House on Fara. Looking North: Rysa Little with Hoy behind to left; Graemsay with Mainland behind centre and right; Cava to right.

It is situated in the Scapa Flow just offshore from the much larger island of Hoy and nearby is the islet of Cava. Between Rysa Little and Fara lies Gutter Sound, the scene of the mass-scuttling of the interned German Imperial High Seas Fleet in 1919.

Many of the smaller South Isles of Orkney lost their resident populations during the course of the twentieth century, but Rysa Little has not been inhabited since earlier times.[3]

See alsoEdit

List of Orkney islands


  1. ^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey
  3. ^ Wenham, Sheena, The South Isles in Omand, Donald (ed.) (2003) The Orkney Book. Edinburgh, Birlinn. Page 208.

Coordinates: 58°51′36″N 3°11′45″W / 58.86000°N 3.19583°W / 58.86000; -3.19583