|Coming through St.Mary's from Kirkwall instead of turning on to the Churchill Barriers carry on past Graemeshall. At the bottom of the hill the mound of Mass Howe is at the coast on your right. There is a new coastal path at the base of this. The first few yards are a bit skewhiff, thereafter it is a little narrow and you need to watch out for tussocks of grass and small holes. Leaving Mass Howe you see the WWII buildings and the burnt mound is in the same field. For now I avoided the usual invisiBull and continued further along the short circuit. Just past the buildings there is a long heap of large stones and rocks and fragments. This is where the well(spring) is or was. To its right the small mound you can see is the site (I think Rami Geo might be a more useful name). A little more than a rise there is a slight exposure of material and a few stones, some probably earthfast. The Tower of Clett is the stack that you can see as you look further along the path. From the nearest the path gets to the burnt mound there is a length of fence indicated on CANMAP as where a burial was discovered (HY40SE 17 at HY49480160 - I can find no further details). So perhaps the mound's black earth is funerary, not settlement. Looking uphill you can see a large mound by the main road and a second or lower extension of the first below this. The very top of this you may just make out the foundations of a sundial of a folly type. Lower on the slopes seems to be earlier stuff. Continuing along the path you quickly come to where it can follow the coast no further and turns straight up to meet the main road. This section is composed of loose stone fragments that could prove tricky in wet weather.
Posted by wideford
30th July 2006ce