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South Ronaldsay, Windwick

Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Site Name South Ronaldsay, Windwick

Classification Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 9535

Site Number ND48NE 8

NGR ND 4595 8668

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

ND48NE 8 4595 8668

An underground structure, probably an earth-house, was discovered many years ago S of the buildings at Windwick and close to the beach, but it was covered over when the land was brought under cultivation. There are no surface indications to show its position.

RCAHMS 1946, visited 1929.

The structure was re-discovered in 1936 when one lintel of the roof was ploughed up. The remains were found to consist of a lintelled, dry-stone walled passage 6ft deep and 32ft long oriented NE-SW. Each end terminated in a small cell with a 'boat-shaped' end. Towards the SW end where the passage curved, another branch led off to the NW towards a burn, but was blocked after about 15ft. The SE side of the burn has always contained fragments of walling which was thought to have been the entrance to the passage. Half of a "sandstone" vessel was found during the excavation in 1936 but is now lost. The passage was left intact and filled in (J Halcro, 6 Erland Terrace, St Margaret's Hope).

Mr Halcro indicated the site on the ground at ND 4595 8668. The field is now under pasture and there are no visible remains. Halcro's description and dimensions suggests that the "structure" was probably a souterrain.

Visited by OS (IMT) 10 May 1973.


Field Visit (August 1997)

A previously-known souterrain was disturbed in 1936 when a lintel stone was ploughed up. It comprised a passage 6m deep and 32' long. The ends terminated in small cells, both of which are said to have 'boat-shaped ends'. Towards the SW end of the passage, a second passage led off to the NW, but was blocked after about 15' . The site is now filled in and is no longer visible.

Moore and Wilson, 1997

Coastal Zone Assessment Survey


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