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

Grain Souterrain



Amid the modern paraphenalia of a bustling light industrial and trading estate on the edge of Kirkwall harbour hides this underground chamber. Vans and trucks rush past delivering crates of fish only metres from its weird surface mound, which is fenced off and locked.

Going down into it is really quite steep, though not as steep as Mine Howe. You descend about 3 metres into the ground. To the right is a small storage chamber area, about 1 metre cubed and the passageway leads off to the left, curving round slightly and running for about 4 ms. You have to stoop. It then opens up into a large chamber with four really extraordinarily beautiful pillars, with supporting capitals tied into the walls of the chamber. And lovely corbelling. Another masterpiece of construction. Take note ye architects of ugly industrial buildings! A functional building can be beautiful and long lasting!

Like many of the tombs and souterrains hereabouts, a powerful torch is provided for the visitor, this time by the keeper of keys in the jewellery shop round the corner.
Jane Posted by Jane
5th July 2004ce

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