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Whalsay, Pettigarth's Field

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Whalsay, Pettigarth's Field

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Pettigarth's Field 1

Canmore ID 1294

Site Number HU56NE 1

NGR HU 58502 65304

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Nesting
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland

Archaeology Notes

HU56NE 1 5850 6530.

HU 584 653. A square, chambered cairn, (Pettigarth's Field (Henshall 1963) excavated by J Stewart in 1938. Another cairn (HU56NE 6) adjoins it on the north side.

A few of the smallish facing stones edging the cairn can be seen and the south half traced with confidence. The north side is less certain, for here it is joined to the other cairn. The indications are that the front has been slightly concave.

Only the foundation course - large slabs 2' high - of the chamber remain. Both chamber and passage were paved. Beside the chamber are some large stones, probably displaced from the roof and walls.

During Stewart's excavations some fragments of pottery were found, but they were too small to be identifiable.

RCAHMS 1946; C S T Calder 1963; A S Henshall 1963 (ZET 32).

A chambered cairn at HU 5847 6530 as described and illustrated by Henshall, but not joined to HU56NE 6, as stated.

Visited by OS (NKB) 30 May 1968.


Field Visit (27 May 1936)

Heel-shaped Cairn, Pettigarths Field.

About a quarter of a mile W.N.W. of Yoxie Geo, on the shoulder of a hill, a confused mass of tumbled stones was noted, in which no trace of structure could be identified at the date of visit. However, the site has since been partially excavated by Mr. J. Stewart, and the foundations of a chamber, with its entrance passage, have been laid bare. The exterior of the cairn was not uncovered and its ground plan has consequently not been established; it may, however, have measured about 17 ft. in diameter, and the outline of the chamber so closely resembles that of the typical trefoil shaped chambers found in certain of the heel shaped cairns that it seems proper to allot this monument to the same class. The N., S., and W. sides of the chamber contain recesses from 3 ft. 6 in. to 4 ft. wide and about 1 ft. 9 in. deep, the chamber as a whole measuring about 7 ft. from N. to S. (including the depth of the recesses)and about 5 ft. 9 in. from the back of the W. recess to the inner end of the entrance passage. The entrance passage, which opens just S. of E., is 1 ft. 6 in. broad, where measurable, and may have been up to 6 ft. long. Both chamber and passage were paved. Some fragments of pottery were found, but they were too much broken up to be identifiable.

RCAHMS 1946, visited 27 May 1936, revised 1938


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