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Swona, Stanemora

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Swona, Stanemora

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 9450

Site Number ND38SE 2

NGR ND 38426 83686

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish South Ronaldsay
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

ND38SE 2 3843 8370.

At ND 3843 8370 is a chambered cairn, (Mr E McGillivary, Kirkwall librarian, note on 6" map) partly eroded by the sea. Most of the cairn material has gone, exposing seven upright slabs (some with gabled tops) of a stalled chamber orientated E-W. The tallest of the slabs is 1.4m high.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (IMT) 30 April 1973

Three pairs of tall slabs and the stump of what may be the N half of a back-slab, form the remains of a large tripartite or stalled chamber oriented E-W. The E pair of orthostats are set 0.6m apart and are 0.9 and 1.0m high. The centre pair are 1.5m apart and 1.25m high. The W pair are 1.7m apart and 1.45 and 1.15m high, the latter being split into two thin slabs. Near the centre of the first compartment, three thin slabs rest almost vertically on their long edges, presumably parts of one large displaced and shattered slab. Other slabs set on edge on the S side of the cairn appear to be part of secondary structures.

The last remnants of the cairn reach a maximum height of 0.8m inside the cleared chamber, the perimeter being ill-defined especially on the NE and S where it is steadily being eroded away . It may have measured about 16.5m E-W by 10.5m.

Visited by OS (JLD) 20 May 1981

Chambered Cairn of Orkney-Cromarty type with oval or round cairn and tripartite or stalled chamber.

J L Davidson and A Henshall 1989

'The Orcadian' in 1903 mentioned that one of the uprights had many shells found at its base.

M Howe 2006


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