"Mine Howe" Top 5 Page for this destination Orkney Off The Beaten Path Tip by leics

Orkney Off The Beaten Path: 16 reviews and 19 photos

  Mine Howe roof structure
by leics

In 1946 a local farmer decided to investigate a mysterious mound on his land, discovering a set of steps going deep underground. In 1999 the present owners found the entrance and, later, Time Team (an archaeological TV programme) excavated. 29 stone steps lead to a sunken chamber, with small side chambers on the way. The stonework is incredibly skilful, and a huge ditch has been found surrounding the mound. Dating to the Iron Age or, possibly, earlier Neolithic times, the function of Mine Howe is unknown. Was it a tomb? Entry to the underworld? A place of initiation? Visit it and make up your own mind.......there's a good display of archaeological investigations and finds, and you get your own hard hat to make the descent!

Mine Howe is just off the main road at Tankerness.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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Comments (1)

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2015 at 3:13 AM

    That sounds fascinating!

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Nov 28, 2015 at 3:21 AM

      Orkney has superb prehistory (I really, really must go back soon....) and this site is particularly unusual. No skeletons were found, except for that of a dog placed in one of the niches, and no-one has any real idea what it was for.


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