Region : Orkney Home
Island : Mainland Map
Town or village : Kirkwall List
Grid Reference : HY 441 116 Glossary
Period : 1st millennium BC Bibliography

Grain image

Now on the outskirts of Kirkwall (Orkney), this Iron Age earth-house or souterrain is constructed deep underground: two metres of soil separates its roof from the ground surface. Some steps lead down into the passage (the lower ones are original).
The drystone-walled passage is 4.7m long and 0.9m high and roofed by flat lintels. It curves to an oval chamber, 1.6m high, where four free-standing stone pillars support a lintelled roof.
The site was discovered in 1827 and re-opened and excavated 30 years later. In 1982 a second smaller earth-house was discovered a few meters to the west.
In care of Historic Scotland