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

Knowes of Trotty



Surprised these aren't already on. But it is a bit of a yomp. Went on a guided walk with the Orkney Archaeological Trust. Because the area covered by these 11 cairns is now under management (hence the falling through of funding for further excavations this year) you can no longer reach here through Netherhouse byre but have to go the long way around via the Howe Road. The way through the heath is a ways past the Howe Farm turnoff and on your right. The rough and intermittent path leading to the 'cemetery' isn't signposted so it is fortunate that they stand out. Owing to all the moss and heather it is a very bouncy walk -thankfully duckboards have been placed along the worst patches of the swampy bits now.

They aren't much to look at - I would have been content to take a group picture at the first suitable place and gone back, myself. The cairns were constructed using natural drumlins as platforms. Though many were excavated by 'barrow-diggers' only the one with the golden discs was in any sense recorded. The 2002 excavation by Jane Downes, our guide, besides numerous cists in one of the cairns revealed in a flat area between two of the cairns some kind of building - perhaps a mortuary structure. In the Bronze Age the settlements were tiny and usually within a kilometre or two (so look about you if you visit). I think that from here you can make out the Knowes of Trinnawin tumuli on the west side of Hindera Fiold. From the cairn nearest Netherhouse at one spot two of the hills almost form a continuous flat skyline.
wideford Posted by wideford
10th July 2004ce

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