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Westray, Knucker Hill

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic), Mound (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Westray, Knucker Hill

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic), Mound (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 2771

Site Number HY44NW 16

NGR HY 4286 4705

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

HY44NW 16 4286 4705.

(HY 4286 4705) An Orkney-Cromarty type stalled cairn lies 125 yds south of the 'Craw's Stane' (HY 4285 4717) and near the summit of Knucker Hill.

All that is now to be seen is a low stony mound about 3' high and of indefinite outline, but apparently oval in plan, measuring about 40' by 30'. Six slabs set on edge appear above the turf, probably some of the divisional slabs of the chamber.

Two slabs set on edge lie some distance south of the cairn and may have some association with it. The more southerly of the two stands on the periphery of a heap of small stones. (RCAHMS say this may be the same as HY44NW 17, which cannot be identified elsewhere).

A S Henshall 1963; RCAHMS 1946, visited 1935.

This chambered cairn is a spread, turf-covered, near-circular mound measuring c.14.0m in diameter and c.1.3m maximum height, with its top dug into revealing six slabs on edge, as described and illustrated by Henshall.

24.40m to the S is a slight, turf-covered stony mound measuring c.8.0m in diameter, and c.0.2m in height, with an earth-fast slab on edge protruding through the turf near the centre. This is almost certainly a cairn. One of the earth-fast slabs noted by RCAHM protrudes through the turf on the edge of the cairn in the NE and the other is about 3.0m N of it.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RL) 27 June 1970.

The tip only of the W slab of the second pair from the S was recorded in 1971 (by A S Henshall), but by 1983 it had been covered by a marker cairn.

Surface erosion has exposed a 2m length of a single course of flat stones on the NW side of the small cairn to the S. This would appear to indicate the outer edge of the cairn.

Visited by OS (JLD) 10 May 1983.


Orkney Smr Note (June 1981)

On the very summit is an oval mound of stones, much spread,

some 14m in diameter and up to 1.3m high. Its appearance has not

changed since it was planned by RCAMS in 1935. Six protruding

edge-slabs indicate a stalled chamber, aligned N-S. RCAMS noted

two edge-slabs some distance S of this mound, the more distant of

the two standing on the periphery of a heap of small stones. This

heap is located about 24m S of the centre of the main mound, or

15m from its periphery; it is an indefinable low mound some 8m

across and no more than 0.2m high; the two edge-slabs are on its

periphery in the NE sector. It probably represents a separate


[R1], [R2], OS visit Jun 70,

Information from Orkney SMR (RGL) Jun 81

Field Visit (14 April 1994)

This mound was visited as part of the Orkney Barrows Project.

Measuring 11.3m by 10.2m and 0.2m in height, it is located in a very prominent location, visible for 2km to the NW and for c.5km to the E. It is not visible when approaching from downslope.

Information from the Orkney Barrows Project (JD), 1994


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