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


Amazon's House

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork

Nearest Town:Uig (136km E)
OS Ref (GB):   NA086000
Latitude:57° 49' 4.04" N
Longitude:   8° 35' 42.67" W

Added by Rhiannon

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Upon the West Side of this Isle, there is a Valley with a Declination towards the Sea, having a Rivulet running through the Middle of it, on each Side of which is an Ascent of half a Mile; all which Piece of Ground is call'd by the Inhabitants, the female Warrior's Glen.

This Amazon is famous in their Traditions; her House or Dairy of Stone is yet extant, some of the Inhabitants dwell in it all Summer, though it be some hundred Years old; the whole is built of Stone, without any Wood, Lime, Earth or Mortar to cement it, and is built in the Form of a Circle, Pyramid-wise towards the Top, having a vent in it, the Fire being always in the Centre of the Floor; the Stones are long and thin, which supplies the Defect of Wood. The Body of this House contains not above nine Persons sitting; there are three Beds or low Vaults that go off the Side of the Wall, a Pillar betwixt each Bed, which contains five Men apiece;

at the Entry to one of these low Vaults is a Stone standing upon one End fix'd, upon this they say she ordinarily laid her Helmet; there are two Stones on the other Side, upon which she is reported to have laid her Sword: She is said to have been much addicted to Hunting, and that in her Time all the Space betwixt this Isle and that of Harries, was one continued Tract of dry Land.

There was some Years ago a Pair of large Deers-Horns found in the Top of Oterveaul Hill, almost a Foot under Ground; and there was likewise a wooden Dish full of Deer's Grease found in the same Hill under Ground. 'Tis also said of this Warrior, that she let loose her Grey-hounds after the Deer in St. Kilda, making their Course towards the opposite Isles.

There are several Traditions of this famous Amazon. But I shall trouble my reader with no more of them.

In this isle are plenty of excellent fountains or springs; that near the female warrior's house is reputed the best: it is called Tou-bir-nim-beuy, importing no less than the well of qualities or virtues; it runs from east to west, being sixty paces ascent above the sea: I drank of it twice, an English quart each time; it was very clear, exceeding cold, light and diuretic; I was not able to hold my hand in it above a few minutes for its coldness; the inhabitants of Harries find it effectual against windy cholics, gravel, and head-aches; this well hath a cover of stone.
p13 of 'A Voyage to St. Kilda' by Martin Martin (1749). I wonder where he means by 'Oterveaul Hill'. The RCAHMS record hints that this strange place could be iron age... or at least, its construction has much in common with 'wheel houses' of that period.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th October 2010ce