The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Eday: Latest Posts

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Braeside (Chambered Tomb) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Braeside</b>Posted by Ravenfeather<b>Braeside</b>Posted by Ravenfeather Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
14th June 2014ce

Huntersquoy (Chambered Tomb) — Fieldnotes

Visited 17th May 2014

On the slopes of Vinquoy hill an intriguing entranceway seems to open up into the heart of the hillside. Once it was a fine rare double-decker construction, but now all that remains of the upper chamber is a few stones to delineate the skeleton of the top part of the tomb.

There is a small information sign from the Eday Heritage Walk attached to a post nearby, which indicated that the upper chamber had a west facing passage, whilst the lower chamber faced to the east, just like Taversoe Tuick. It’s an intriguing design, and I wonder if there were any more tombs built like this which are lost to us now, or was this incredibly specialised design purely a local innovation amongst the folk of the northern Orkney’s? Farrer excavated here in 1855 but didn’t seem to come up with any answers, I wonder if there’s been any investigations since?

The sign, as well as prior fieldnotes, indicated that the lower chamber was generally flooded, but I’m ever optimistic, and there’s not been much rain on Orkney the past couple of weeks (well not much by Orcadian standards anyway!). When I bend down to take a look though it’s clear there is a fair amount of water in the passageway. Some tentative prodding with a nearby twig lets me gauge that there is about a good three inches of water in the interior, certainly high enough to come over my boots, and as I’d have to stoop I’d probably end up with sodden trousers too . It generally takes a lot to deter me on visiting somewhere, but lacking wellingtons, waterproofs a towel or change of clothes, the thought of tramping around for the rest of the day soaked to the skin and slowly becoming hypothermic is enough to stop me today.

I settle instead, like Ubik before me, for shining the torch down the passage to take a look. It’s swathed with ferns which grow along the entranceway, and the light of my torch reflecting off the water does little to drive away the shadows which occlude the chamber. According to the information sign it’s supposed to be a Bookan type of cairn, with compartments set around a central space. Although incredibly adept at dry stone construction, drainage obviously wasn’t the Neolithic Eday folks forte, and it’s frustrating not to be able to go in and check it out, as I’d love to see how similar the lower chamber was to Taversoe Tuick’s, but in the immortal words of Arnie ‘I’ll be back!’

What I am pleased to see is that there is no sign of any of the rubbish as mentioned in Ubik’s fieldnotes, although copious amounts of wool bob about on the water, so obviously sheep aren’t put off entering (or perhaps they just want a bath?). It’s an intriguing place, the entrance passage which seems to lead into the bowels of the earth reminds me a bit of the Rhiw burial chamber, and the placing on the slopes of the hill, with the Vinquoy tomb prominent on the horizon, and the Stone of Setter standing proud to the south, obviously mark this part of the island out as having some special significance.

Huntersquoy is an intriguing site on the Eday Heritage Trail, just don’t expect to get inside without a wetsuit!
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
14th June 2014ce

Huntersquoy (Chambered Tomb) — Images

<b>Huntersquoy</b>Posted by Ravenfeather<b>Huntersquoy</b>Posted by Ravenfeather<b>Huntersquoy</b>Posted by Ravenfeather Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
14th June 2014ce

Linkertaing (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Two large and two smaller stones in the middle of the peatland to the West of Noup and Vinquoy hills. Just off the Eday Heritage walk.

If you didn't know it was the remains of a tomb, you'd think it was possibly a circle.

If you weren't doing the heritage walk and wanted to access from the farm at South Linkataing, the way marks for the walk would still be your best bet for a route onto the moor. Either way, this is pathless moorland with the potential to be quite hard going, and exposed.

As with other chambered tombs in Orkney, the site is below the skyline, and commands fine sea views. Faray, the closest islet has another chambered tomb according to the OS map and I would think they were intervisible.
Posted by Ubik
1st August 2013ce

Southside Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Southside Stone</b>Posted by Ubik<b>Southside Stone</b>Posted by Ubik Posted by Ubik
24th July 2013ce

Southside Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

The stone stands rather sadly next to a council road depot full of piles of gravel etc. Although there are signs saying the depot is private, it makes a sensible place to park when closed, rather than the single track road.

The field it stands in is barbed wire fenced so close access would be a pain.

A fairly phallic stone from some angles.
Posted by Ubik
23rd July 2013ce
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