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Castle Bloody, Quholm

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Castle (Medieval)(Possible), Cist(S) (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name Castle Bloody, Quholm

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Castle (Medieval)(Possible), Cist(S) (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Canmore ID 1720

Site Number HY21SE 31

NGR HY 2514 1286

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Stromness
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY21SE 31 2514 1286.

(HY 2514 1286) Castle Bloody (NR) (Site of)

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

The remains of this building were removed by cultivation a few years before 1880, but nothing could be discovered about it locally beyond the name and a tradition that it was the home of a 'Scandinavian Chief' before the 14th century. In 1928 the site was 'marked only be a large knoll. It is said that some years ago a number of graves or stone cists were exposed during agricultural work in the field in which the knoll stands, but no relics are known to have been recovered.' (The 'Scandinavian Chief' story suggests a broch).

Name Book 1880; RCAHMS 1946.

In the area centred around HY 2515 1286 there are no surface indications left to indicate the shape or purpose of this feature. No trace of a knoll or mound could be found in this flat pasture field and no finds have been recovered from the area. The tradition associated with the name 'Bloody Castle' is known locally, but no further information could be found about the graves or stone cists.

Visited by OS (NKB) 15 September 1964.

'The Orcadian' reported in 1903 that Castle Bloody was traditionally associated with a seige against St Mary's Kirk (no other information).

M Howe 2006


Publication Account (2002)



Possible broch in Stromness the remains of which were removed by cultivation a few years before 1880 [1]; no traces are visible now except a large knoll.

Sources: 1. OS card HY 21 SE 31: 2. RCAHMS 1946, 2, no. 941, 327.

E W MacKie 2002


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