Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Lamb Holm,settlement 450m WSW of Italian Chapel

A Scheduled Monument in East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 58.8888 / 58°53'19"N

Longitude: -2.8968 / 2°53'48"W

OS Eastings: 348408

OS Northings: 1000510

OS Grid: HY484005

Mapcode National: GBR M567.HP4

Mapcode Global: WH7CK.GVS3

Entry Name: Lamb Holm,settlement 450m WSW of Italian Chapel

Scheduled Date: 17 November 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6246

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: house

Location: Holm

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray

Traditional County: Orkney


The monument consists of the remains of a prehistoric settlement which is beginning to appear in an eroding coastal section on the shore of St Mary's Bay.

Traces of walling, including part of the outer face of the wall of an oval house and what may be one jamb of its dooorway, lie immediately above the high-water mark, extending for about 40m. The house wall stands to nine courses of drystone masonry, just under 1m high, and extends for over 6m. The house beyond appears to survive intact at present.

On the visual evidence, it is not possible to ascribe a date to the house, which could equally well be Neolithic (like Skara Brae) or Iron Age (like houses around brochs, for example Gurness). It is unlikely to be Norse or later.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular, oriented parallel to the shore, and measures 80m NNE-SSW by 45m, to include all of the visible remains and an area around them in which it is likely further archaeological deposits and structures survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a recently-discovered settlement site of prehistoric date which appears to have suffered little from marine erosion, and which has walling surviving to an unusually good degree. Whatever the exact date of the monument, it has a high potential for providing information about past architecture, settlement structure and domestic economy. The monument is proposed for scheduling because of its quality and also to emphasise the need for positive action, either through management of erosion or through excavation, to ensure that its potential is not lost.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HY40SE 34.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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