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




I had been along the old Finstown road several times going to Kirkwall and so was quite surprised to see a rectangular hole in the RH road verge (HY391118). Closer too it resembled more a cist formed of thin slabs set against one of those broad patches of turf that cross ditches to let farmers onto their fields. When I came to this ?tank I saw that it actually lay in the midst of two such bridgings, each 5m across. Kinda weird. The feature appear sub-rectangular because the edge of one slab has moved forward slightly,it would have measured 0.9 by 0.8m and is 0.5m deep. To the naked eye the 'tank' is certainly a little forward of the ditch line but a pic doesn't appear to bear this out.
On my second visit it took me walking twice over the ground before I found it again. Now that the water-levels are much lower it has more the appearance of a well than a cist, the full depth 0.9m (as far as I could find) with what I took for the bottom being ledges on two sides. The ledges make you think of corbelling but there's only one rough-edged ?slab on the left extending as a near triangular shape 0.25m along and 0.6m from the back left corner, with drystane walling above, and one on the right a slab 0.45m long and only 0.1m from the back right corner. Apart from the section of walling and the 'ledges' the structure is of slab construction (including a triangular stone making up the right back). The base is hidden by a couple of short bits of wood and a thin layer of other rubbish. Almost feels like part of a souterrain, certainly something of at least that age.
P.S. revised my opinion back to its being a short cist (?double?) on finding that one of those at Queenimoan had an erect stone wholly buried at one end. Ending the enigma this is my best fit.
wideford Posted by wideford
23rd September 2005ce

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