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Rousay, Bigland Round

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Rousay, Bigland Round

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Faraclett Head

Canmore ID 2709

Site Number HY43SW 13

NGR HY 4383 3250

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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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

HY43SW 13 4383 3250.

(HY 437325) 'Bigland Round Cairn', an Orkney-Cromarty tripartite round cairn is situated on the edge of the lowest of the terraces on the SW face of Faraclett Head, just above the limit of cultivation, and was excavated by W G Grant in 1938. (RCAHMS 1946). It is circular except for a flattening at the SE by the entrance, has diameters of 37 to 40ft, and is surrounded by two wall-faces, the outer of well-laid masonry still standing up to 2ft 6ins high. The inner wall-face is 3-4ft behind and in line with the inner end of the short entrance passage. The passage, 3ft 10 ins long and 1ft 9ins wide, was blocked at the outer end by masonry built flush with the outer- wall-face. The roofless chamber is 15ft 8ins long by 3ft 10ins to wide and aligned NW-SE. It is entered between two portal stones and is divided into three compartments by two pairs of upright slabs. A small hollow dug into the subsoil was found outside the cairn on the S side, 11ft from the entrance and 5ins from the wall- face. It measured 1ft 8ins by 1ft 3ins at surface level, reducing to 11 by 10 ins at the bottom and was 6 1/2 ins deep. It was bottomed by clay and full of black peaty ash. Numerous sherds, a flint scraper and two flint chips from the site are now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

A S Henshall 1963

A chambered cairn at HY 4383 3250, as described and planned by Henshall.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS(ISS) 18 October 1972.

Scheduled as Bigland, round chambered tomb.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 10 December 2001.


Orkney Smr Note

Visited by RCAMS in 1935 when just a mound with 5 protruding

stones, then excavated 1938 by Walter Grant and details and plan

supplied by him. Fragments of two Neolithic pots were found.


Has been stripped, and all constructional features are

exposed. - Detailed description. Classified as Orkney-Cromarty

tripartite round cairn. [R2]

Information from Orkney SMR [n.d.]


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