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

Fresh Knowe

Chambered Cairn


Alongside the road at the Ring of Brodgar there are two large mounds. Opposite the modern entrance, practically at road level, is the Plumcake(-shaped) Mound. But the first you encounter is the bulk of Fresh Knowe (presumably called so as against Salt Knowe near the sea loch).
For this you have to go down a slight slope - indeed the lochside edge is practically at loch level and in the present day perilously close to the water's edge, making it damp around this side. Running down to the loch alongside the northern end is a stream a section of which is occupied by some kind of ?concrete tank. Didn't think anything of it at the time, but later found a report of "a fine spring of water at the foot of the tumulus".
The area of Farrer's excavation is well evident from the road as a large blister of dark vegetation. Don't go down with fancy shoes. Looking from the lochside there appears to be a slight saddle at the top of the mound. Also there is a concavity like a big scoop from the southern end. Perhaps there was an even earlier excavation here, and the unconfirmed report of a burial comes from this (it has been another suggestion for the silver fibulae source)?? There could always have been a cist there, as probably with Salt Knowe. Which reminds me of the, admittedly smaller, Queena Fjold barrows which reportedly each only held a single central cist according to the prime investigators.
If the Watch Stone really was part of the arc of a long-gone stone circle I would be inclined to place this site in the same time-frame.
wideford Posted by wideford
24th April 2005ce
Edited 1st May 2005ce

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