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Souterrain (Destroyed)

Nearest Town:Kirkwall (5km W)
OS Ref (GB):   HY508102 / Sheet: 6
Latitude:58° 58' 34.84" N
Longitude:   2° 51' 21.15" W

Added by Rhiannon

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Judging by the record on the RCAHMS site, unfortunately I don't think there'll be much left here - or at least, there won't be anything accessible below ground, maybe just a cairn above.
In the beginning of May, Mr. Hourston, tenant of the farm of Yinstay [...] was engaged in fencing operations ... his spade fell from his hands and disappeared underground ... breaking through rough masonry [he] effected an entrance into and underground chamber of very peculiar structure...

It is the highest ground in the neighbourhood... Tradition tells of a standing stone here, which is said to have been destroyed by a bauldie*, who took it for the devil...

The opening to the chamber, which is only three or four feet below the surface, and only a few feet from the cairn, is very difficult to negotiate, and can only be accomplished feet foremost, working oneself down sideways, and on the back... it is of an irregular oval shape, about 19ft. long from east to west, and about 10ft. in greatest breadth. The roof... is formed of flagstones, and supported upon nine apparently water-worn stones set upon end, forming pillars... In the chamber were picked up fragments of deer's horn, bones, and teeth of horned sheep, oyster and whelk shells, burnt wood, and a few fragments of... pottery.
From 'A Curious Chamber', an article in The British Architect, June 1906.

I like the sound of the water worn stones and the image of the farmer wriggling into the space.

Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th March 2009ce