Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Some of our data services may be unavailable for a short period of time on Tuesday the 27th of March. This is due to essential maintenance.

Archaeology Notes

Event ID 644366

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


HY32NE 5.00 38179 26850

(HY 3818 2685) Knowe of Gurness (OE)

OS 6" map, Orkney, 2nd ed., (1903).

HY32NE 5.01 HY 381 268 Pictish Symbol Stone

The Broch of Gurness stands 10 ft high and measures 63 ft in diameter over walls 14 to 14 ft 6 ins thick. It was surrounded by a rampart and three ditches and shows three phases of construction and reconstruction, during which outbuildings were erected on the levelled rampart and into the inner ditch.

Subsequently Dark Age and early Viking buildings occupied part of the site (a 10th century Viking woman's grave was inserted into the wall of the outer courtyard). The Broch of Gurness was excavated by, and is under the guardianship of, the MOPBW: some of the later buildings have been re-erected to the west of the broch to expose the earlier outbuildings.

(For full account, plans, etc., see the various authorities.)

The finds, to be exhibited at the site, included typical 'broch', Dark Age and Viking relics, and fragments of a Roman amphora.

RCAHMS 1946; J S Richardson 1948; V G Childe 1961

The Broch of Gurness is as described and illustrated by the above authorities.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 7 June 1967.

(Classification of Roman material).

A Robertson 1970

Bronze spiral finger-rings; at least three found on the fingers of a severed hand in a midden. Unpublished.

E J Mackie 1971

Bone dice found: RMS Unregistered. Numbered 3, 4, 5, 6. One end slightly damaged. 44mm x 21mm. 'Found in broch, probably fallen with debris from wall'. (MSS notebook of J H Craw in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland [NMAS], No. 166).

RMS Unregistered. Number 3, 4, 5, 6. The face marked 3 is damaged. 44mm x 20mm. Found SE of the secondary, central hearth in the layer associated with this hearth. (MSS note-books of J H Craw in RMS, entry for June 23, 1932, and No.384).

D Clarke 1970; E J Mackie 1971

Class I symbol stone showing a divided mirror-case with a rectangle on the left and a divided rectangle on the right.

A Mack 1997.

People and Organisations