Ancient Monuments

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East Bigging, burnt mound 390m south of

A Scheduled Monument in West Mainland, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.0141 / 59°0'50"N

Longitude: -3.3489 / 3°20'56"W

OS Eastings: 322634

OS Northings: 1014895

OS Grid: HY226148

Mapcode National: GBR L43X.6MS

Mapcode Global: WH69M.JPHL

Entry Name: East Bigging, burnt mound 390m S of

Scheduled Date: 10 February 1992

Last Amended: 27 May 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5286

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: burnt mound

Location: Sandwick

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: West Mainland

Traditional County: Orkney


The monument comprises the remains of a well-preserved burnt mound dating probably to the Bronze Age (between 2000 and 800 BC). It is visible as two roughly crescent-shaped opposing grass-covered banks, with a hollow between them opening to the N. The complex overall measures approximately 15.5m NE-SW by 13m transversely, with the banks standing up to 1.8m high. The burnt mound is situated 1km E of the W coast of Orkney Mainland, at around 45m above sea level, on the W bank of the Burn of Langadee, surrounded by boggy heathland. The monument was scheduled in 1992, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 30m in diameter, as shown in red on the accompanying map. 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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular, of prehistoric society, the construction and use of burnt mounds, and their placing in the landscape. The good preservation of the monument and its proximity to other examples in the vicinity enhance this potential. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand the origins, function and development of burnt mounds and the nature of later prehistoric society and economy in Orkney.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HY21NW 72.


Anthony, I 2003, Luminescence dating of Scottish burnt mounds: new investigations in Orkney and Shetland (unpubl PhD thesis, University of Glasgow).

Hedges, J 1975, 'Excavation of two Orcadian burnt mounds at Liddle and Beaquoy', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 106, 39-98.

The Orcadian 1907, The Orcadian, 12 January 1907

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 715.

ScARF 2013, Burnt Mounds, The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework, .

Toolis, R 2005, 'Excavation of a burnt mound at Meur, Sanday, Orkney', Scott Archaeol Jour 29, 31-49.

Topping, P 2011, Introduction to heritage assets: burnt mounds, English Heritage.

Towrie, S 2013, A brief history of Orkney - the Bronze Age, .

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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