Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Shapinsay, Helliar Holm

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Shapinsay, Helliar Holm

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 2402

Site Number HY41NE 2

NGR HY 4843 1534

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

HY41NE 2 4843 1534.

In the SE part of the island is a large cairn, which is certainly prehistoric, although the name is printed in ordinary type on the OS map. It is mainly composed of fairly large stones, and measures 66' by 60', with a height of about 8'. On its S side are three large stones set on end at irregular intervals, which have apparently formed part of a chamber, long since destroyed. The landmark on the top is modern.

RCAHMS 1946, visited 1928

Not visited.

A S Henshall 1963

HY 4843 1534: A chambered cairn measuring about 18.0m in diameter and 2.2m high, surmounted by a modern marker cairn. The tops of seven of four pairs of slabs of an apparently stalled chamber are visible in a central depression. Oriented NW-SE, the passage width between the slabs is 0.4m and the pairs of slabs are 1.7m apart. No back slab is evident, but the plan is reminiscent of the Orkney-Cromarty stalled cairn at the Hill of Shebster (ND06SW 5).

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (AA) 1 October 1972

A stalled cairn, as described by field surveyor (AA) in 1972. There are indications of the top of drystone walling on the S side of the eastern -most compartment. (Confirmed by A S Henshall).

Visited by OS (JLD) 18 May 1981

At the prominent marker cairn on the summit of Ellyar Holm, there is a mound measuring 18m in diameter and 2.2m in height and containing a stalled chamber, aligned NW and SE; there are four pairs of dividing slabs, the third pair from the NW lacking one slab. The slabs stand 0.4m high above the rubble that conceals any sign of a back-slab and the position of the entrance. Near the top of the mound on the E side, an arc of what may be an inner revetting face is traceable for a distance of 1.2m.

RCAHMS 1946; RCAHMS 1987, visited July 1986.


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions