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


Plumcake Mound

Round Barrow(s)

<b>Plumcake Mound</b>Posted by widefordImage © wideford
Also known as:
  • Plum Cake Barrow
  • Watch Hill
  • Watch Tower

Nearest Town:Stromness (6km SW)
OS Ref (GB):   HY295135 / Sheet: 6
Latitude:59° 0' 10.79" N
Longitude:   3° 13' 38.55" W

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<b>Plumcake Mound</b>Posted by wideford <b>Plumcake Mound</b>Posted by wideford <b>Plumcake Mound</b>Posted by wideford <b>Plumcake Mound</b>Posted by wideford <b>Plumcake Mound</b>Posted by wideford


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Visited 4.6.12

The barrow is well mangled.
It is a short walk from the Ring of Brodgar car park.

A scruffy barrow covered in scruffy grass.
But still with us nonetheless!!
Posted by CARL
10th July 2012ce

Supposedly an early archaeologists' name for it rather than a local one, this is the knowe opposite the modern entrance to the Ring of Brodgar and slap bang alongside the car park. At one time two short cists were extracted from the mound, but unfortunately having been excavated many times all that is left is the many inroads that now make its appearance so interesting. Contrast that with the basically featureless Fresh Knowe (HY296134) back down the road a little - though there is mention of traces of horns at the south and east corners- and this was at some time the the subject of an abortive excavation (however mention of a cist is believed in error for Salt Knowe behind the ring). wideford Posted by wideford
24th April 2004ce


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Prior to Farrer's 1854 excavation this was an apparently untouched tumulus, about five feet high with very steep sides, but subsequent (unrecorded) digs have removed all recognisable traces of his work. He and Petrie found cists at the south and north sides 2-3 feet down. The former, about 6 feet from the centre, measured 2'6"x2'x2'1" internally, but had side slabs 5'10" long and an irregular capstone 4' by 2'6". This cist had been sealed with clay, but the 1½" thick flags were much deteriorated and at odd angles. Within this a large steatite urn sat upon the meeting of four slabs and contained burnt bones and ashes. On the other side of the barrow they found a slightly smaller cist, at 2'9½" by 1'7", that held a small clay-and-gravel urn. The urn held only a few small pieces of stone, being mostly filled with what is described as soil. It fell apart in Kirkwal. However there were many bones laid on a flag in the NW corner beneath fine soil. Petrie reports the later finding of a broken pestle (??macehead, perhaps THM 1985.34 ??) and a stone vessel with two rows of ringmarks like those seen about the steatite urn. wideford Posted by wideford
22nd September 2007ce

The 1854 excavation of what is accepted to be this mound found two cists with bones in urns. First was a steatite urn, the largest found at that date, decorated with three grooves at the neck. The second cist's was clay. Here were found a stone pestle and a block of stone ringed with two incised rows. wideford Posted by wideford
30th November 2005ce
Edited 30th November 2005ce