Today's Baltasound is scattered over gently rising ground on the north side of Balta Sound and to the west of its head. Half a mile west of the end of the Sound is St John's Church.
A box of grey stone, St John's was originally built in 1825-7. The Baltasound of the day would have been a very different place, and it is startling to realise that during the herring season in the early 1900s the church would have looked out on a seething temporary community of up to 10,000 people, covering most of the ground between it and Balta Sound, and along both shores of the Sound itself.
As originally built the church was vast, allegedly large enough to seat 2,000 people. The outline of its original shape can be traced from the low level walls that still extend from the east side of the current church (visible in the header image). In 1959 the church was virtually rebuilt to cover only a part of its original footprint.
At the same time the original entrance porch to the church was converted to form the base of a tower, on top of which a concrete bellcote was added. At the same time the hall to the west of the church was built.
Inside you find a pleasant open space, decorated in light colours to make the most of the available daylight in these northern latitudes. The wooden fixtures and fittings are of a friendly mid tone and the whole effect is set off by the red carpet.