Ancient Monuments

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Knowe of Angerow, mound

A Scheduled Monument in West Mainland, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.0349 / 59°2'5"N

Longitude: -3.3343 / 3°20'3"W

OS Eastings: 323518

OS Northings: 1017193

OS Grid: HY235171

Mapcode National: GBR L44V.FBH

Mapcode Global: WH69M.R5FM

Entry Name: Knowe of Angerow, mound

Scheduled Date: 1 October 1937

Last Amended: 26 March 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1288

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: mound (ritual or funerary)

Location: Sandwick

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: West Mainland

Traditional County: Orkney


The monument is the remains of a barrow dating probably to the Bronze Age (between about 2000 and 800 BC). The barrow is visible as an upstanding, sub-circular, turf-covered earthen mound, measuring 12.7m N-S by 10.5m transversely and surviving to a height of 0.9m. The top of the mound has been disturbed in antiquity and the Ordnance Survey recorded that a stone cist was found here in 1882. Two large stone slabs more than 1m in length are visible near the centre top of the mound; these may represent excavated elements of an internal cist, or they may be field clearance stones. The monument occupies a conspicuous position in the landscape, on a broad-backed ridge at 74m above OD, between the Loch of Skaill and the W coast of Orkney Mainland at Borwick. The monument was first scheduled in 1937, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The scheduled area is circular on plan and measures 30m in diameter. It includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of funerary and burial practice in the Bronze Age. Burial mounds and earthen barrows form an important and relatively widespread element of Orkney's Bronze Age landscape, and provide evidence for the major social and economic changes which took place during this period. The Knowe of Angerow is a barrow of larger than average size. Although disturbed in antiquity, the mound retains its field characteristics to a marked degree and is a significant example of its type. Excavation of similar sites elsewhere in Orkney demonstrates that the Knowe of Angerow has the potential to contain one or more burials and associated features, such as the remains of funeral pyres or mortuary structures. Orkney's barrows are unusual in Scotland, and important within a British context, as the majority are earthen mounds as opposed to stone-built cairns. The significance of the Knowe of Angerow is enhanced by its association with a wider landscape of Bronze Age burial monuments located between the Loch of Skaill and the west coast of Orkney Mainland in the parish of Sandwick, which has one of the most important concentrations of such monuments in Orkney. Our understanding of the dating, form, function and distribution of Bronze Age barrows would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HY21NW 20.


Downes, J 1995, 'Linga Fold', Current Archaeology, 142, 396-399.

Downes, J 1997, The Orkney Barrows Project survey results and management strategy. Unpublished report to Historic Scotland. ARCUS, University of Sheffield.

Ordnance Survey (Name Book) Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey (6 inch and 1/2500 scale), Book no 18, 118.

RCAHMS 1946, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Twelfth report with an inventory of the ancient monuments of Orkney and Shetland, 3v, Edinburgh, 267, no 717.

Towrie, S 2013, The Knowes o' Trotty,> [accessed August 2013].

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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