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Sanday, Newark Farm

Settlement (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Sanday, Newark Farm

Classification Settlement (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Sanday Golf Course; Plain Of Fidge; Bay Of Newark; Kurquoy Bay

Canmore ID 3612

Site Number HY74SW 16

NGR HY 7198 4181

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

HY74SW 16 7198 4181

Orkney SMR References: OR 271, OR 2631.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

HY 710 412. An extensive prehistoric settlement on the coastal links, with midden and structures visible in eroded section.

R Lamb 1979

HY 7198 4181. Settlement, Sanday Golf Course: An extensive settlement mound on the links used as a golf course; a sea-eroded section shows shell- and animal-bone middens, stone walls, and at base a buried soil overlying clean sand showing ard marks.

RCAHMS 1980.


Orkney Smr Note (November 1997)

A substantial and extensive settlement-mound by the shore on

the sandblown area used as the Sanday golf course. It stands

about 1m above the general turf level and 3m above the shoreline.

As the base of the deposit is at about shoreline level, the

entire 3m of thickness is artificial. The summit is partly

landscaped for one of the greens although resulting damage

appears not to be serious. The exposure extends 45m along the

shoreline and erect slabs and mound material occur as far as 35m

back from the shore at a point just N of the golf-green. There

are many patches of nettles. Another, larger mound to the W may

be more of the settlement, or a dune.

In the erosion exposure, the bottom of the visible levels is

clean sand [which of course could well be a sandblow interlude as

the bottom of the site]. On this sand is developed a buried soil

with ard marks visible in section at the junction of the soil and

the sand; conditions for preservation of ard marks. Above the

buried soil for the whole length of the exposure there appear

thick midden deposits containing animal bone, a few burnt stones,

many shells of limpet cockle winkle and whelk. At the N end two

lengths of ancient drystone wall protrude under the modern stone

dyke which separates the golf course from the farmlands of

Newark, and other fragments of walling can be glimpsed here and

there in the exposure.

This is clearly a good machair settlement site with sandblow

levels and good alkaline conditions of preservation, and the

presence of associated ard marks makes it important. There is a

continuous threat from the sea erosion.

Information from Orkney SMR (RGL) Jun 79.

Large sections on the shoreline were taken out by SE gales

in the winters of 1982-3 and 1983-4. On the latter occasion a

length of deposit 3m wide and 15m long came down.

Sections drawn, samples taken and resistivity survey carried

out by Steve Dockerill, Bradford Univ, Aug 85. RGL Aug 85.

Site revisited in Nov 1997 after a lead spindle whorl was reported found on a stone on the shore near the gate at the north end of the exposed midden (close to cement bags acting as erosion barrier). Also an iron rivet found in the midden face. C.31m of midden material exposed with many big fish bones. At south end of disappearing shore dyke is massive exposure. A structure of unknown use has been exposed, dug into the upper layer of the midden. The orthostat at the south end has floor layer and edge slabs visible.

Information from Orkney SMR (MLW) Nov 97.

Field Visit (1999)

A grassy amorphous mound, 30m or more in diameter, stands up to 1m high and is located adjacent to the coast edge. The seaward side of the mound is eroding and archaeological deposits are visible intermittently over a distance of some 40m. The deposits include a number of large edge-set slabs and large blocks which appear to represent part of at leat one structure. Associated soils include highly organic deposits containing mammal and fishbone, charcoal and shell midden, comprised mainly of limpet and winkle. There are further mounded areas present in the immediate hinterland and it is probable that they also represent buried archaeological remains. As has been stated by previous surveyors, this is likely to be an extensive settlement site, probably of prehistoric date. Ref.: RCAHMS (1980) #86.

Coastal Zone Assessment Survey, 1999


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