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



Round Barrow(s)

Nearest Town:Stromness (9km SW)
OS Ref (GB):   HY321155 / Sheet: 6
Latitude:59° 1' 16.96" N
Longitude:   3° 10' 57.86" W

Added by wideford

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Armed with the new information I walked the Grimeston road, which is basically a broad U-shape. Coming up the northern leg you come to a T-junction. Here a short stretch of road goes north to the Stoneyhill Road. At the end of it is the field of the 'Feolquoy' mounds with another such to its north and that containing the Staney Hill long cairn to thats north. The field above this short piece [i.e to its east] has the Staney Hill standing stone itself. At this junction the main portion of Henge is in the field on the right, though of course this would have been one with the standing stone field before the'modern' road. In the near (SW) corner I could see a very well defined feature, a circular bank not many yards across around a flat depression full up with flat stones or slabs. When you are almost at the highest point of Staney Hill there is a very large curving ridge running across, with the supposed entrance a few yards wide clear to see. It is most definitely the line of an old track. Which isn't to say that this could not have been placed along a causeway which its construction destroyed. Turn your eyes to the other side of the road and at the highest point there is a distinct low mound that Dave said would originally have been the place to which all eyes were drawn, rather than the common idea that such heights are for looking down on folk and other sites. Looking downhill/W I could now make out another ridge. This is lower to the ground. Which is another reason to suspect we are dealing with natural features, for one would expect this to be the henge's higher standing section of bank (as with, say, the Hillhead enclosure). The whole of the Staney Hill and Grimeston area is covered with the likes of surviving and dead burns, rocky outcrops, marshy bits. Which would explain why the tracks shown in 1882 are very far from straight. Unfortunately there were several pockets of sheep preventing my closer viewing of the uphill part. Also if there is archaeology here it would probably need pointing out by those with the knowledge. At least I now know why there were so few photos - even my sites have to have something to them ! I did, however, investigate the [as it were] 'ringwork'. Definitely in need of a tidy up. As well as the slabs a lot of the central depression is taken up by a part-buried piece of modern machinery. There are a few visible voids, including one I could see inside. Kneeling down for a closer look in this latter there is about a foot of space into which a short piece of the machinery's cable projects. There was a possible large stone forming the bottom. Sticking my hand inside I unprofessionally tried to lift this. It broke in two and seems to be simply a clump of earth.
On another visit looking from a point S of Henge across from the south bit of road I could see the land distinctly drop off, and this edge is a very smooth curve visible on the 1:25,000 as a contour line. Roughly West of of Henge is the Staney Hill standing stone. Then there is that 'viewpoint' mound, maybe a couple of feet high. Come clockwise and further down is where Andrew extracted a piece of portable art from ploughsoil by the layby, the Grimeston Girlie having similarities to the Westray Wifie found this year. Unless O.A.S. publishes the chap's doctoral thesis we shall probably hear no more of Henge's real archaeology as an SMR seems unlikely.
wideford Posted by wideford
27th December 2010ce


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A report in "The Orcadian" March 26th 1992 mentions a preliminary survey had been done of this and the surrounding area by a volunteer group (including the recenty deceased Anne Brundle). Thanks are due to Tommy Russell of Boardhouse farm for leaving the possible henge-type circle intact. In another Orcadian article "Countrywoman" informs us that the 'moat' and 'ramparts' are best seen when the land is cultivated whilst under a covering of snow. wideford Posted by wideford
23rd April 2011ce

Andrew Appleby (once an excavator of cists) found a possible circle of stones between the Grimeston and Stoneyhill roads.This sparked my interest in the 'Vola' mound, but this year I attended an Orkney Archaeological Society talk by an Orkney College student [name escapes me] on a site called Henge, 80m diameter and cut across one end by the road. Described as little known it rings no bells. Unfortunately I could not identify the place from either image shown as this site does not show up well even in person or photograph other than badly. One of these was of a putative entrance, though without scale the devil's advocate saw a passage into a field across a ditch. If I remember correctly geophysics had located several other interesting features round about. Dave Lynn [ex-Director of the CSA] came to see me and had visited the site, which is where the legend Staney Hill is shown on the 1:25,000 - he said it is by Henge Cottage. When he went water inside clearly defined the ditch, but as to the possible entrance he was of the opinion that this is due to one of the two tracks shown here on the first O.S. [when the present road did not exist]. wideford Posted by wideford
27th December 2010ce