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Greeny, Norton

Broch (Iron Age), Cist(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Greeny, Norton

Classification Broch (Iron Age), Cist(S) (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Knowe Of Taft, Greenay

Canmore ID 1895

Site Number HY22SE 8

NGR HY 2836 2226

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Birsay And Harray
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY22SE 8 2836 2226.

(HY 2836 2226) Stone Cists found A.D.1866 (NAT)

OS 6" map, 0rkney, 2nd ed., (1903).

Twelve stone cists were found within an area about 20 yds square 'about 12 years ago' during cultivation. They were all empty. Portions of what is believed to have been a circular wall were also found at the same place.(Information from Donald Stephen, Northtown)

Name Book 1880.

David Stephen partly excavated a broch at Taft Greeny, in the parish of Birsay.

The ruins of the broch were contained within a mound about 10 ft high, through the surface of which stones protruded. Around its base was an accumulation of earth and stones in which were found a number of small square stone cists. Part of the wall of the broch was found, with a lintelled passage running along it, of which about 30 ft was cleared. Finds included rude unglazed pottery, two fragments of Samian ware, a small clay crucible, a few lumps of red haematite, portions of querns, and a piece of blue glass with white strips twisted 'in its substance, somewhat resembling Venetian glass'.

Much of the stone was removed for building purposes but vestiges of the structure were visible in 1882.

W G T Watt 1882.

The Commission identifies the site of the broch with the published site and states that it was known as the 'Knowe of Taft'.

RCAHMS 1946.

The area indicated is the highest point in a recently ploughed field. There are no traces of cists nor abnormally high stone content to be seen. No name is known locally.

Visited by OS (NKB) 18 May 1967.


Publication Account (2002)

HY22 6 TAFT ('Knowe of Taft')


Probable ground-galleried broch in Birsay and Harray which was partly exposed by Mr D. Stephen shortly before 1882 [2]. The ruins were inside a mound 3.1 m (10 ft.) high and there were small square stone cists in the earth around its base. Part of the wall of the supposed broch was found, with a lintelled passage running along it; this was traced for about 10 m (30 ft.), after which the structure was in ruins, probably because of stone robbing. The description of the “passage” suggests that the broch may have been an example of the ground-galleried type.

Finds recovered during these operations included a fragment of a probable armlet of blue glass with white stripes. There were also 2 small pieces of red Roman Samian pottery, some sherds of native ware, a small clay crucible, several fragments of haematite, pieces of querns (presumably rotary but type not specified). These finds seems to have come from the broch ruins rather than the cists.

Sources: 1. OS card HY 22 SE 8: 2. Watt 1882, 449-50: 3. RCAHMS 1946, 2, no. 15, 16; 4 Hedges et al. 1987, 54-5.

E W MacKie 2002


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