4th October, 2004: Now sealed over, most likely filled in too.
17th June, 2004: Went back again to clarify the position and this is definitely the O.S. map well, the upper edge of the track being the old field boundary. The stone from on top has joined its brethren in the waters and this has allowed a better view of the uphill section.
4th June 2004: Over in Tankerness a site marked as well on the O.S. map (at HY5110608523) has been quite literally uncovered. As you go down the hill to Tankerness Mill you come to various Whitecleat buildings and when you reach the end of this complex on the other side is a new house. Below this is a track and sometime since mid-afternoon Wednesday someone has broken through the top of a structure. The aperture is 0.7m square internally and at least 1.4m deep (one metre down there is water), at the bottom is a large stone and soil from the collapse. The base of the top side is a large grey stone, the upper courses consist of sandstone corbelling. Down at the other end the appearance is squared off. The bottom side is sandstone drywalling but it could be secondary to block off a larger extent. So though it has probably been used as a well I feel this is a very late usage for a Neolithic or Bronze Age something. I assume that it will be filled in soon, so my photos will be the only record (even though I have taken the precaution of informing an appropriate official here).
Second visit, June 7th. Is it me or is this a very unusually shaped well. (Almost) five-sided because the bottom of the uphill side is either two stones 0.8m and 0.5m or one biggie with an obtuse angle. I thought perhaps these black stones could be bedrock but there is the same kind of stone at the bottom of the other, straight, sides. But nevertheless I think it is/was a wellspring - in the Neolithic the Loch of Tankerness being only 1m deep was much further away than it now appears. The big stones only start appearing 0.6m from the top. The drystone roof at either end seems to mimic their shape, the uphill end being corbelled for its top 0.4m whilst the downhill is square on and 0.3m deep. At the bottom end it projects 0.6m over the wall and at the top end perhaps slightly less. As to the sides' composition one has the drystone walling and then fragmented big stones, the other I'm only sure of the drystone walling above. Which makes the downend less certainly a blocking even though it is the only wall to be drystone all the way down to the measurable well base.
This bears resemblance to the MIA well from the Broch of Breckness. The excavator suggested I pass my fieldnotes and images to "Discovery and Excavation in Scotland" but I couldn't find any graph paper for the intended plans!
August 10th I found that it is now covered by an upturned pallet with a big bucket on top of that, whether to prevent further damage or to protect people from it I know not.. Nothing else has changed.