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Hawell

Burnt Mound (Prehistoric)

Site Name Hawell

Classification Burnt Mound (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 2968

Site Number HY50NW 10

NGR HY 5124 0652

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/2968

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

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish St Andrews And Deerness
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY50NW 10 5124 0652.

(HY 5123 0651 Two unnamed mound symbols 100 m.S of Hawill - HY 5106.

OS 25" map, Orkney, 1st ed., (1881).

"Mounds of Burnt Stones, sometimes with associated structure. Hawill - This mound, which consists of the usual burnt materials, is situated close to the bank of a small burnt about 100 yds. SW of the crofter's house of Hawill. It has been encroached upon on the WNW, E and SE sides, but must originally have measures at least 71 ft. by 62 ft. by 5ft. 6 ins. high. A considerable excavation on the W side of the mound, made by the present occupier of the croft, has exposed the rudely built structure shown on the plan. It is formed of large flat stones loosely laid in four or five courses to form a series of small compartments. Each compartment has a low, narrow opening towards the outside and two of them have angular recesses. A number of rude stone implements were found in the course of the excavation. A further investigation laid bare a rectangular stone tank 7ft. E of the structure first exposed. This tank measures 5ft. 4 1/2 ins. by 4ft. and is 2ft. 3 ins. deep. The sides and ends are each formed of a single slab, the corners being luted with clay. The bottom is paved with four flags fitting closely together and set under the side slabs of the tank, and its level is approxmately 10in. below the present grass floor of the compartment marked A on the plan. The tank stands two-thirds full of water in winter. When the farm road running past the mound was cut, the farmer met with a structure resembling a drain running in the direction of the tank. No opening, however, leads from the tank. In the course of his digging the farmer recovered a further series of implements and the much decayed bones of a young ox.

The nature of the construction exposed at this site can only be determined by the excavation of the whole mound under proper supervision. It may be mentioned, however, that if one can judge by the published plan of a structure found in the mound at Brockan (HY21NW1) there is some family resemblance between the two".

The implements noted above contained at least one hammer stone. A piece of pumice found in the mound was presented to Nat Mus Ants Scot by Angus Graham (BG 322).

RCAHMS 1946.

There is now only one burnt mound, at HY 5123 0651, it measures 16.0m NW to SE 10.0m NE to SW and has a maximum height of 1.7m. It has been disturbed on the NW and W and excavation on the SE has uncovered a structure 2.5m long by 1.0m wide, and 2.0m east of this, a tank about 1.5m. square 0.7m deep, both of these being formed by flat stones. The compartments, in the structure, mentioned above could not be identified as the stones forming them have now collapsed into the main structure. Mr. Garrioch said that he made the "excavation" described

by RCAHMS 1946 and that he sent the "crude stone implements" found at the Nat Mus Ant Scot. (Information from Mr R W Garrioch, Hawill).

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RD) 11 April 1964

The burnt mound lying in the wet ground behind Hawell farm, remains much as it was when excavated by the farmer and planned and described by RCAHMS in 1935, except for the collapse of parts of the structures then exposed. It is 16m by 10m and 1.7m high. The excavated features were a series of small stone-built compartments and, lying somewhat apart and still open, a slab-formed rectangular tank.

RCAHMS 1946; RCAHMS 1987, visited April 1979

Activities

Field Visit (11 April 1964)

There is now only one burnt mound, at HY 5123 0651, it measures 16.0m NW to SE 10.0m NE to SW and has a maximum height of 1.7m. It has been disturbed on the NW and W and excavation on the SE has uncovered a structure 2.5m long by 1.0m wide, and 2.0m east of this, a tank about 1.5m. square 0.7m deep, both of these being formed by flat stones. The compartments, in the structure, mentioned above could not be identified as the stones forming them have now collapsed into the main structure. Mr. Garrioch said that he made the "excavation" described

by RCAHMS 1946 and that he sent the "crude stone implements" found at the Nat Mus Ant Scot. (Information from Mr R W Garrioch, Hawill).

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RD) 11 April 1964

Orkney Smr Note

Burnt mound, encroached upon on WNW, E and S sides, must originally have been 71ft x 62ft x 5ft 6in high. Recently excavated by crofter on W side. Made of large flat stones loosely laid in 4 or 5 courses to form a series of small compartments. Each compartment had a narrow opening to outside of mound. Also a slab-formed rectangular tank. Plan.[R1]

Pumice found in mound given to RMS by Angus Graham. Burnt mound measures 16 x 10 x 1.7m high. Disturbed on NW and W, excavation on SE has uncovered a structure 2.5 x 1m, and a tank 1.5m square and 0.7m deep, of slabs. Compartments described by RCAMS could not be identified, on account of collapse. Mr Garrioch of Hawell said he did the excavation described by RCAMS and sent crude stone implements to RMS.

OS visit Apr 1964.

As described by OS.

Information from Orkney SMR (RGL) Apr 1979.

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