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The Brough

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork

<b>The Brough</b>Posted by widefordImage © wideford
Also known as:
  • 'Covenanters Graves'

Nearest Town:Kirkwall (9km W)
OS Ref (GB):   HY545101 / Sheet: 6
Latitude:58° 58' 33.08" N
Longitude:   2° 47' 29.39" W

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<b>The Brough</b>Posted by wideford


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There are some lovely natural arches here, if only they were not so inaccessible and slippery to approach they would have tons of visitors. Should you come this way watch out for an ?arch in the making, a huge rectangular hole in the coastline going all the way down to sea-level. I'm sure there must be a proper geological term for it.
Finally the coast heads into a deep dip where the promontory is, a truly treacherous place to tread nowadays. Surely if you are building stuff for people you don't put it opposite a water-holding cup of land. This seems a little strange to me - was it excavated by people themselves for some now obscure reason. Though there are two sites here, The Brough itself and the 'Covenanters Graves', opinion is that they are basically one, to whit a promontory fort and outbuildings. You can't really make anything out, I think unless the grass catches fire or there is a severe drought you are unlikely to see what is recorded. Lots of bumps and hollows that could be structures threaten to trip you up, but basically all you see is grassy tussocks all over. I saw one erect slab in the 'cup' (the 'Covenanters Graves' section) and one on the promontory fort proper (The Brough). From one place to the other are meant to be features both circular and rectilinear , some in a straight line to the side of a path.
wideford Posted by wideford
29th October 2004ce


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RCAHMS NMRS no.s HY51SW 4 The Brough and HY51SW 3 'Covenanters Graves', at HY54501005 and HY54501005 respectively, are best thought of as a promontory fort and outbuildings (I am reminded of the 'sailors graves' at the Brough of Bigging, but those by contrast lie within the fort, the adjoining land not so suitable there). CANMORE lists many features but in practice all is covered by tussocks of maritime grass - when I went all that could be safely observed were one slab on the promontory and another on the landward side, of which the latter can just be made out on my photo. A 12.5m circle to the east of the 'graves' is formed by two low earth and stone banks and may represent a greatly eroded building. Further along the northern edge of the path over the narrow strip of land several structures in a line have been found ; two ?hut-circles 3m across, a rectangular ?building 8m long, several hummocks with erect slabs. wideford Posted by wideford
27th October 2004ce