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

Knowe of Verron



Going towards Skaill Church a tiny stretch of very minor road leaves the B9056 to continue following the coast before a track leads you into the fields to the Knowe of Verron. The track fades away soon but it's easy going. Don't mind the cows. I came across a tumbled line of stones going to the coast. A little too spread for a plain wall it seemed to me, and if it had been a curve (it could have been a very slight one I suppose) I would have taken it for part of the boundary of ? a ness-taking or a promontory fort.

Of course the Knowe of Verron HY231198 is a broch, though I harboured slight doubts when I was there. It is in a similarly precarious position to the Broch of Borwick at Yesnaby but without the wall height to keep you out. As I came to the broch remains all I saw was a short grass mound, and in the modern-times excavated cliff edge I could see a gallery wall sticking out. The 'back' of the site is well protected by a sharp deep sea inlet to the cliffs, calling to mind the Brough of Bigging in Yesnaby. There are traces of early diggings when you are on the broch (even on the grassy top I was careful). This I found out about back home but this doesn't tell you about the square pit there, so could it have been revealed not long ago ? Smallish relatively deep slab-lined square pit and stones surrounding the top. Exquisite. [RCAHMS agree a cist is low down the list and suggest that it all could be collapsed medial walling]. Nearer the cliff edge there are other areas of stone I could make nothing of, could find not even the slightest viewpoint to make them worth a photo.
Looking over the cliff at the recorded excavation is a vicarious thrill. I could see the slabs of a rectangular structure and I thought there was something alongside. I could also see the edges of black material coming through the cut, placed there after the exploratory excavation of the eroding section. The weather still being fine and dry I gingerly crept down onto the cliff exposure using some of the bigger stones as lightly as possible in order to disturb nothing. I had hoped from down here that the nondescript stone scatters above might show something but still no. You can still see some of the midden material on the 'floor'. Looking from left to right there's the slab-sided structure, the seeming outline only of another structure, some of the gallery wall sticking out (as is often the case with these cliff-eroding sites) and then further up the cliff face a couple of spaced small protruding boulders (including a well-rounded ovoid) that gave the appearance of being the ends of a 'cupboard' or niche.
wideford Posted by wideford
19th August 2004ce
Edited 10th September 2004ce

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