The eerie photographs of the abandoned island of Stroma

The images show traces of a life once lived on the island of Stroma that was abandoned by its last resident more than 50 years ago. Once a vibrant community of 'daring and skilful' islanders living amid the treacherous tides of the Pentland Firth, the settlement has sat empty since 1962.It's population stood at a peak of 375 in 1901 but fell away to just over 100 by 1949. By the early 1960s, just 12 people remained.Decay has since set in but a few powerful remnants of its human habitation are still to be found.READ MORE: 9 abandoned islands of ScotlandMany of the cottages still stand, albeit in various states of ruin. An old hand-cranked sewing machine can be found on the floor of one and a dresser - still holding a few metal storage tins - stands in another. Hearths are long empty.The church still has its roof, but its windows have gone, and it is not known the last time the badly wrecked red phone box received a call.Stroma, around two miles from John O' Groats on the mainland, once had a shop, a school and a church with 50 cottages on the island. A report in the John O' Groats Journal in December 1859 noted there were no trees, shrubs or flowers on the island.READ MORE: Cara: The last island of the Lord of the Isles'Unadorned as it is, few of the natives would willingly leave it for a sunnier spot,' it added.Crofting, cod and lobster fishing aided survival - as did the salvage of shipwrecks pulled from its battered shores with islanders making great gains from lost cargoes.Storms were so fierce on Stroma that once waves crashed over the 100ft cliffs on the north side of the island leaving debris scatters across the land. For week's at a time, Stroma could be cut off from the mainland by the weather. A newspaper article in 1949 reported a 'Fag Famine' on the island after the island shop ran out of cigarettes during a bad spell of weather. The island doctor, who would travel from John O'Groats by lifeboat to attend emergencies, could often find himself marooned - or unable to reach its residents

Monday, 5th June 2017, 8:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th June 2017, 3:41 pm
Stroma was home to around 300 people in the early 20th Century with around 50 cottages on the island. PIC: Alan Hendry.
Stroma was home to around 300 people in the early 20th Century with around 50 cottages on the island. PIC: Alan Hendry.
The derelict phonebox on the "Main Street" of Stroma. PIC: Alan Hendry.
The abandoned church. PIC: Alan Hendry
The desolate main room of a Stroma cottage: PIC: Flickr/Brian Doucer

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An area for sleeping in one of the cottages which were occupied mainly by fisherman and crofters. PIC: Flickr/Brian Doucer.
The derelict phonebox on the "Main Street" of Stroma. PIC: Alan Hendry.
The abandoned church. PIC: Alan Hendry
The desolate main room of a Stroma cottage: PIC: Flickr/Brian Doucer
An area for sleeping in one of the cottages which were occupied mainly by fisherman and crofters. PIC: Flickr/Brian Doucer.