115 patients with lymphoid tumours presenting in the orbit were seen between 1970 and 1984. The histological types were high-grade malignant lymphoma--18, low-grade malignant lymphoma--43, and indeterminate lymphocytic lesions--54. Eighteen patients were found to have disseminated lymphoma at presentation. The majority of the patients received radiotherapy to the orbit; local control was achieved in all cases and the ocular morbidity from radiotherapy was low with 11 patients developing lens opacities and 5 a dry eye. Survival of patients with stage I low-grade lymphoma and indeterminate lymphocytic lesions was similar to that of a normal population of the same age distribution. The clinic features and dissemination pattern of the low-grade malignant lymphomata and the indeterminate lymphocytic lesions were identical, suggesting that most, if not all, lymphoid masses presenting in the orbit are neoplastic rather than reactive in nature.