Maes Howe (Orkney Islands)

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  • Information

    Maes Howe is a Neolithic chambered cairn and passage grave and is one of the largest on Orkney. The cairn gives its name to the Maeshowe type of chambered cairn, which is limited to Orkney. Maes Howe appears as a grassy mound near the south-east end of the Loch of Harray.

    The mound encasing the tomb is 115 feet (35 m) in diameter and rises to a height of 24 feet (7.3 m). Surrounding the mound is a ditch up to 45 feet (14 m) wide. The grass mound hides a complex of passages and chambers built of large carefully crafted slabs of flagstone. It is aligned so that the rear wall of its central chamber is illuminated on the winter solstice.

    Maes Howe is within the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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