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

Laughton's Knowe

Round Barrow(s)


Take the A961 for the South Isles, past the Hunclett side road, until the sign for Toab when you take B road. If you know where to look the mound is visible on the horizon even before the junction is reached, and indeed is visible over a large portion of Holm (except, oddly enough, for a short stretch of the B road coming up to the farmtrack junction). Where the road starts downhill the 1:25,000 has a MS symbol on the right and the Hall of Gorn is the unnamed group of buildings before that on the crest of the hill.

The most direct route to the knowe is the field boundary along its RH side. Once past the last building the mound is a little to one side and forward of the walled field containing the Gorm mound with its much reduced siblings.

The outline - a curved shield with a broad low ombos almost like a platform - appears to be shared by the main Gorn mound, though it may only be apparent in some directions. Apart from the large chunks of bare soil mentioned in the record the composition looks broadly similar in being mostly turf-covered with earthfast boulders at various places in no obvious pattern. "Earth and stone" conjures up an image of the two intermixed, the stones small, but what you see revealed is earth with scattered middling stones. Seeing some loose stone and none too thick slabs you naturally expect to gauge the depth of those protruding from the mound or through the turf by a slight pull, but when I tried this several of these, even the boulders, didn't budge at all. Is these being earthfast evidence for structures additional to the abstracted cist within (or having been there once leastways?).

Laughton's Knowe is only the second visit I have made to a site apparently named after someone modern (the other being the Howe Harper cairn, unless perhaps from Harproo 'heap by the stream'). However I find nothing Laughton referred to. So with the Hall of Gorn nearby and Skaill closer yet, I would tentatively suggest the site was originally called a law-thing rather than a personal name.
wideford Posted by wideford
2nd May 2006ce
Edited 18th June 2007ce

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