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


Chambered Cairn


Coming out of Birsay village take the A966 and go down the Vinbrake turn. The Stanerandy Tumulus lies in a field to the left and very soon the road hangs a right. Instead continue onto the farmtrack at the bend. At a house it turns left again, leave your car here if you have not already done so. The Newan cairn lies up by the field fence of the second field from here but you have to go halfway round the outside to reach it as the barbwire is taut and just too high to go over. Where that side of the field meets the track is a standing stone. A little further along the field boundary is another standing stone that points at an angle. It aims straight for the cairn (one of those little anomalies - the place Newan is actually the other side of the Stanerandy Tumulus f.k.a. Stanerandy Stone). Go around the second field edge and there is an 'Orkney gate', lying down across the farmtrack at the time of my visit, where you can see a disused quarry.
From this field corner I made my entrance. Still the site disguises herself as a plain grass mound. Only coming closer to do you see a few small stones scatttered around the base . Once on top more is exposed, pattern emerges. Looking on the fence side (the mound doesn't go to the fence itself) there is a stone 0.8x0.6m with an orthostat 0.5x0.1m sticking a fraction out of the ground to its top left. to the other side of this is a roughly ring-shaped collection of stones 1.6x1.8m the most obvious of which is 0.8x0.3m. Possibly part of this are two apparent orthostats to the direct left at right-angles to each other, like sides of a cist (0.5m along the shorter edge) maybe.
wideford Posted by wideford
12th August 2004ce
Edited 12th August 2004ce

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