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Rousay, Kierfea Hill

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Rousay, Kierfea Hill

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 2714

Site Number HY43SW 18

NGR HY 4242 3196

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. 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

HY43SW 18 4242 3196.

(HY 422 317 ) An Orkney-Cromarty round cairn placed high on the S face of Kierfea Hill, on sloping moorland. It is turf-covered and greatly ruined, reduced to a max height of five feet. It measures about 27 ft in diameter and has a double wall face surrounding it. The outer face is only partly exposed, on the N side of the entrance and for a quarter of its circumference on the S side. The inner wall face was seen on either side of the passage. The main axis of the passage and chamber lies S of E and N of W with the entrance in the former direction. The passage is

8 ft long and the chamber 12 ft long, is divided into three compartments by two pairs of transverse slabs.

The chamber has been left open after the excavation, but the N wall has collapsed.

Parts of three carinated bowls, sherds and a worked flint chip from this site are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

A S Henshall 1963.

A chambered cairn at HY 4242 3196 as described and planned by Henshall. Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS(ISS) 18 October 1972.


Field Visit (1941)

Visited by Childe in 1941.

V G Childe 1942

Field Visit (August 1979)

below Kierfea Hill (ORK 26) HY 4242 3196 HY43SW 18

Stalled cairn excavated by Grant in 1940. Finds in NMAS.

RCAHMS 1988, visited August 1979

(Wilson Portfolio ff. 19 and 21; Henshall 1963, 207-8; OR 479)

Orkney Smr Note

On front edge of terrace immediately above level ground.


This was a turf-covered mound 5ft high, 27ft diameter,

before excavation by W Grant, 1940. Double exterior wall-face

only partially excavated. Main axis of passage and chamber is S

of E and N of W; chamber, stalled type, 12ft long divided into 3

by transverse slabs; side walls of masonry, max height 3ft 6in.

Chamber was left open after excavation; main features still

visible but N wall has collapsed. Carinated pottery and flint

chip in Nat Museum Antiqs. [R1]

Information from Orkney SMR [n.d.]


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