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New Scapa Road

Mound(S) (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name New Scapa Road

Classification Mound(S) (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Canmore ID 273202

Site Number HY40NW 33

NGR HY 447 090

NGR Description c.HY 447 090

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/273202

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Kirkwall And St Ola
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY40NW 33 c. 447 090

See also HY41SW 21

'Mounds near Kirkwall. The precise positions of these mounds, which are known only from record, cannot now be determined. Petrie, in one of his notebooks has the following entry; "At the north end of a cist in a Bowl-shaped Barrow which was opened by me some years ago in the parish of St. Ola, I found a rude Stone Celt. I found..... a stone pestle or corn-crusher similarly placed in a Barrow, which formed one of a group of fourteen examined by me near Kirkwall". (Information from G Petrie notebook No.5, 25). Whether any of these were identical with the barrows referred to in his paper in the Proceedings of the Orkney Antiquarian Society is uncertain (G Petrie 1927). However, the fourteen mentioned in the entry were probably on Wideford Hill (HY 41 11). (Taken from a newscutting ND in the Irvine Collection {Lib Soc Antiq Scot})

RCAHMS 1946.

No information could be gained about these mounds The "stone pestle or corn crusher" may be the one referred to in Orkney 109 SW 116)

Visited by OS (NKB) 12 April 1964.

Petrie refers seperately to Wideford Hill and there is actually another Wideford farm in St.Ola parish at HY4647 0823 - the barrows would have been somewhere between its locality and the Hillocks of Garth. Though there are two reports of barrow groups in connection with a stone pestle or corn crusher the one Petrie notes from from Wideford consisted of ten barrows and the one "near Kirkwall" of fourteen, which would be an unexplainable discrepancy if they were one and the same. And the barrow "near Kirkwall" mentioned in the Proceedings of the Orkney Antiquarian Society (Proc O Antiq Soc) lay in another place entirely.

The group of fourteen he examined "near Kirkwall", Howe (M Howe) places in a field at HY 447 090 near Scapa Bay whose mounds are otherwise strangely missing from the record.

The barrow "near Kirkwall" mentioned in the Proc Ork Antiq Soc appears in full chiefly in the same set of Petrie's handwritten notes as those for his draft on the Newbigging cists (part of Orkney Archive GB241/D21/2/8) where it is placed "near the shore of the Bay of Scapa" (HY44 09). It was excavated in about 1840 and was 53' across by 5.5' high. The primary internment was two cists made of large flagstones on edge seperated by another, central in the barrow, the covers level with the natural. They were placed nearly E and W and the N cist held only two or three large lumps of stone. That to the S, with a 6'5" by 3'7" covering stone 3.5" thick, contained a human skeleton that had been in a sitting position. Near the surface of the upper part of the barrow and opposite the SE corner of the S cist there were burnt bones embedded in clay. "A little below the surface" on the other side of the barrow were burnt bones and ashes laying on a flat stone.

In the same archive are Petrie's notes on the circular group of ten mounds that are definitely from a Wideford farm. Three of these were large (no size given). The smaller ones were 10-12' across and three feet high at most,

and he chose to excavate three of these. All contained stone cists.

The first was 17" long by 12.25" wide, 11 7/8" deep at one end 15" at the other. In it were burnt bone and ashes. Not so carefully formed was the second, the one that produced a stone pestle or corn crusher. This was 17.5" long by 12.5" wide and 17.25" deep. The third was of a similar size to the second but badly constructed of large lumps of stone jammed together. Both contained burnt bones.

Information from Mr M Howe via e-mail 14 July 2005

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