Knowe of Queen o Howe
The Knowe of Queen o’Howe is a turf-covered, artificial mound which probably contains a broch tower. Located in the north of the island of Westray in Orkney, it is mostly made of large stones with a circular hollow on the top, used for burning kelp.
The name is derived from Old Norse meaning ‘enclosure’ and ‘mound’. Excavations nearby have uncovered evidence of a settlement which predates Skara Brae so it is likely that Knowe of Queen o’Howe was also a settlement.
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- The Knowe of Queen o’Howe is a turf-covered, artificial mound which probably contains a broch tower. Located in the north of the island of Westray in Orkney, it is mostly made of large stones with a circular hollow on the top, used for burning kelp. The name is derived from Old Norse meaning ‘enclosure’ and ‘mound’. Excavations nearby have uncovered evidence of a settlement which predates Skara Brae so it is likely that Knowe of Queen o’Howe was also a settlement.
- The Lady Kirk is one of two ruined churches on Westray, built in 1674, on the foundations of a 13th-century church. The church is mostly complete with the exception of the roof. The nave is rectangular, with a largely complete gable at its west end, topped off by a bellcote. A line of holes in the gable suggest there was originally a gallery at this end. The east end of the 1674 church formed a laird’s aisle, erected on the site of the 13th-century chancel. The laird’s aisle and the nave are separated by an arch.
- The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village overlooking Eynhallow Sound. All that remains of the village is the 3.6 metres (11.8 ft) high central tower and the thick stone walls. The broch has the remains of a settlement surrounding and adjoining it.
- The Sands of Evie is a sandy beach within Aikerness Bay, protected by the Point of Hellia headland. The beach is a sheltered, shallow shelving sandy beach, which is large at low tide. When the tide comes in provides excellent shallow water to play in. The beach overlooks the small island of Eynhallow and Rousay across Eynhallow Sound. Small car parks either side of the beach, toilets at the Western car park.
- Barony Mill, also known as the Boardhouse Mill, is a 19th century water-powered mill still in operation located near Stringburn Twatt on the north of the Orkney mainland. Little has changed since Barony Mill first opened in 1873. The mill mainly grinds bere, an ancient form of barley. All grinding is done during the winter, and in the summer it throws open its doors to the public when demonstrations of the machinery are given by the miller.
- The Brough of Birsay is a small 21-hectare uninhabited tidal island off the north-west coast of The Mainland of Orkney. The Island has Celtic and Norse remains and is well known for the breeding colony of Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) and Guillemot (Uria aalge) The island is accessible on foot at low tide via a 240 metre long causeway over the Sound of Birsay.
- The Stone o’ Quoybune is solitary standing stone of prehistoric origin in Birsay in Orkney. The stone stands at nearly 4m high and is one of the Orcadian standing stones associated with the folklore of the ‘petrified giant’. The myth says that each New Year, the Stone o’ Quoybune goes down to the nearby Boardhouse Loch and takes a drink. If you were to see the stone taking this annual trek, then supposedly you would not live to see another new year.
- Marwick Head is a Nature Reserve run by the RSPB located 4 miles north of Skara Brae on the western side of the Orkney mainland. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Marwick Head sandstone cliffs are home to thousands of nesting seabirds including kittiwakes, puffins, guillemots, razorbills and fulmars. In Marwick Bay, you can also see many wading birds and ducks, as well as hen harriers (if you’re lucky) and short-eared owls. Take the circular Marwick Head clifftop walk and marvel at the stunning views over to the island of Hoy. Open throughout the year, for more information on the RSPB reserve at Marwick Head, go to www.rspb.org.uk
- Skara Brae is a large Neolithic settlement, located on the Bay of Skaill. The settlement consists of ten clustered houses, dated from the late Neolithic and inhabited for around 600 years, between 3200BC and 2200BC. The settlement is one of Europe’s most complete Neolithic village and has been called the “Scottish Pompeii” because of its excellent preservation. Because of this protection by the sand that covered the settlement the buildings, and their contents, are well-preserved. Not only can you see the walls of the structures but they are roofed with their original stone slabs, and the interior fittings of each house give a view of life was about. Skara Brae is within the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic henge and stone circle and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. The site is generally thought to have been erected between 2500 BC and 2000 BC. Most henges do not contain stone circles; Brodgar is a striking exception. The ring of stones stands on a small isthmus between the Lochs of Stenness and Harray. There are no obvious stones inside the circle, but since the interior of the circle has never been excavated by archaeologists, the possibility remains that structures may be present. The stone circle is the third largest in the British Isles at some 104 metres (341 ft) in diameter and set within a circular ditch. The ring originally comprised 60 stones, of which less than 30 remain standing. The tallest stones stand at the south and west of the ring.
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