Sunday, 27 August 2017

Orkney Tales 4 – Into the Viking bunker

Tuesday – Into the Viking bunker

We took Richard and Fi to Maeshowe. This is a Neolithic chambered cairn and passage grave not far from us and v popular with the coaches that carry people round the island from the huge cruise ships that tie up in Kirkwall.

Outside Maeshowe ,sun on the water

Maeshowe was probably built around 2800 BC. Entry is by ticket and includes a spirited and breathless recitative by a Heritage Scotland guide, thus one knows all one needs in a short visit. During the 1861 excavation, its entrance passage was blocked, so an entry shaft was driven down through the top of the mound. Once inside the archaeologists discovered that they were not the first to break in…

Runic "graffiti" found on the inner walls confirmed the Orkneyinga Saga story that several groups of Norsemen had been here - known to them as "Orkahaugr" - in the mid 12thC and chronicled their presence on stone sides of the tomb.
A short stop at the Ring of Brodgar
‘Magnus with a big one was here’ and such
More detail (on Maeshowe not Magnus)

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim