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


Castle Howe

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork

<b>Castle Howe</b>Posted by widefordImage © wideford
Nearest Town:Kirkwall (12km NW)
OS Ref (GB):   HY514003 / Sheets: 6, 7
Latitude:58° 53' 15.02" N
Longitude:   2° 50' 37.01" W

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<b>Castle Howe</b>Posted by wideford <b>Castle Howe</b>Posted by wideford <b>Castle Howe</b>Posted by wideford <b>Castle Howe</b>Posted by wideford <b>Castle Howe</b>Posted by wideford <b>Castle Howe</b>Posted by wideford


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Crossing the coastal fields to Castle Howe the vegetation was tall and rank, making this is the worst time of the year to investigate such a ruinous or fragmentary site. I never learn. Couldn't really tell what was underfoot, seemed to be channels and/or ruts of some type as I neared the hill. Coming up my feet encountered a multitude of lumps and bumps and I appeared to be climbing over different levels on the hill, putting me strangely in mind of Wideford Hill Cairn. What a struggle to reach the top it had been. Be very careful going about the summit still. Once there I found it took a while to tell the chamber wall from the outer protection of the excavator's wall. Rather disappointing. The inner area looked like a rockfall and I wasn't aware of seeing any steps at the time. Mindst you the modern wall isn't weathering well either. Just about worth it still. wideford Posted by wideford
20th July 2004ce


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A report made following a 1933 visit to Castle Howe (contained in the National Monument Record) indicates that part of Castle Howe may be prehistoric:
The lower chamber appears to be prehistoric, its walls survive to a height of 5ft. 3 ins; the stairs may be original..."
A similar report following a visit to the site in 1964 makes no attempt to date the site. There is no certainty as to the age of this monument, but the NMR implies that part of it may date back to the Iron Age.
Posted by TMA Ed
17th June 2007ce
Edited 17th June 2007ce

RCAHMS NMRS No. HY50SW 13 though it occupies a typical broch site shows no evidence of circularity and so is classified as a promontory fort. A member of the clergy excavated a 'domestic structure' on the top from 1929-31 and then built a 1m high square wall about it afterwards. There were two structures above one another, of which only the lower was certainly prehistoric. This lower chamber was D-shaped with a floor 2.6m below ground level (reached by steps) and walls 2m high. Its entrance and that of the modern protective wall are held in common at the west. wideford Posted by wideford
19th July 2004ce