Ancient Monuments

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Voy, burnt mound

A Scheduled Monument in West Mainland, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.0153 / 59°0'54"N

Longitude: -3.3017 / 3°18'6"W

OS Eastings: 325348

OS Northings: 1014972

OS Grid: HY253149

Mapcode National: GBR L46X.488

Mapcode Global: WH69N.8N0P

Entry Name: Voy, burnt mound

Scheduled Date: 25 January 1940

Last Amended: 28 August 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1344

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 burnt mound, dating probably to the Bronze Age (between about 2000 and 800 BC). It survives as a crescent-shaped turf-covered mound, with a possible smaller mound attached immediately to the SE. The length of the two mounds is around 20m NW-SE and they stand to about 1m high. The N edge of the mound appears to have been disturbed in antiquity and burnt stone is exposed in places around the mound, but overall it is well-preserved. The mound is conspicuous within the landscape, surrounded by low-lying boggy ground. The monument was first scheduled in 1940, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 40m in diameter, to include 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. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute towards our understanding of the past, in particular of prehistoric society and economy, and the dating, form and function of burnt mounds and their placing in the landscape. The good preservation of the monument and its proximity to other examples in the vicinity, within an archaeologically rich landscape around the shores of the Loch of Stenness, 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 HY21SE 26.


Anthony, I 2003, Luminesence Dating of Scottish Burnt Mounds: New Investigations in Orkney and Shetland, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Glasgow.

Barber, J 1990, Scottish Burnt Mounds: Variations on a Theme, in Buckley, V (ed), Burnt Offerings: International Contributions to Burnt Mound Archaeology, 92-97.

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

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, 268, no 726.

ScARF, 2013, 3.3.1 'Burnt Mounds', The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework website, available online at:

Toolis, R, 2005, 'Excavation of a burnt mound at Meur, Sanday, Orkney', Scottish Archaeol J 29(1).

Topping, P 2011, Introduction to Heritage Assets: Burnt Mounds, English Heritage, UK.

Towrie, S 2013, 'A Brief History of Orkney - The Bronze Age', Orkneyjar: the heritage of the Orkney Islands website, available online at:

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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