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Rousay, Westness

Chambered Barrow (Neolithic)

Site Name Rousay, Westness

Classification Chambered Barrow (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 2166

Site Number HY32NE 16

NGR HY 3840 2898

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Rousay And Egilsay
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY32NE 16 3840 2898.

(Area : HY 381 291) A grass-covered mound, 40 ft by 35 ft and 3 ft high, stands on a shelf in sloping ground between Westness house (HY 383 289) and the public road, about 25 yds from the latter and 250 yds from the Bay of Westness, about 100 ft above sea-level.

Excavations in 1933 by J.G.Callander and Grant showed that the mound was of earth with small stones with, at the centre, an irregular sub-oval chamber, 8 ft 9 ins long by 6 ft 11 ins wide.

The NE corner had been torn out by an unrecorded excavation although a small section indicated the building line. There was no sign of an entrance passage or of corbelling or roof supports. A few small flags set in the floor suggested a bed-or hearth-like arrangement, 4 ft long by 2 ft 9 ins broad. There is a small built recess in the NW angle and the remains of a larger one at the opposite end.

The only relics discovered, burnt human bone and charcoal, suggest that the structure was sepulchral.

W G Grant 1934; RCAHMS 1946.

This turf-covered mound, at HY 3840 2898, is as described above. It is hollowed in the centre but there is no sign of the internal structure.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RL) 10 June 1967.


Field Visit (September 1980)

As [previously] described.

Information from Orkney SMR (RGL) Sep 1980.

Orkney Smr Note

A mound, containing an irregular chamber which is said to have been excavated many years before its investigation by Callander and Grant in 1933, although no obvious signs of this earlier excavation were then found. The finds were not diagnostic of the function of the structure but the irregularr shape suggested it was domestic rather than funerary; there was however no hearth.

Information from Orkney SMR [n.d.]


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