Ancient Monuments

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Dale, burnt mound 380m north west of, Eday

A Scheduled Monument in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.1821 / 59°10'55"N

Longitude: -2.8247 / 2°49'28"W

OS Eastings: 352968

OS Northings: 1033117

OS Grid: HY529331

Mapcode National: GBR M4DG.DQB

Mapcode Global: WH7B7.LG3R

Entry Name: Dale, burnt mound 380m NW of, Eday

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1936

Last Amended: 28 August 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1257

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: burnt mound

Location: Eday

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Traditional County: Orkney


The monument comprises the remains of a burnt mound dating to the Bronze Age. The mound has been scientifically dated by luminescence and radiocarbon, which suggest that it was in use probably between about 1800-1600 BC. It survives as a roughly crescent-shaped grass-covered mound, now measuring approximately 11m in diameter and standing up to 1.4m high. The burnt mound is bisected across its northern third by a modern drainage channel and stone dyke, but is otherwise reasonably well-preserved. The remains of associated structures, possibly a building with a stone-lined water trough, have been observed previously (in 1928 and 1984). The mound is situated on the W coast of Eday, some 70m inland at around 10m above sea level, and is surrounded by low-lying boggy ground. The monument was originally scheduled in 1936, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, 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. The scheduling excludes the above-ground elements of the stone dyke and adjacent post-and-wire fence for their maintenance.

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 our understanding of the past, in particular, of prehistoric society and the dating, form and function of burnt mounds and their placing in the landscape. The reasonably good preservation of this monument and its proximity to other examples in Eday enhance this potential. Ten burnt mounds have been recorded in Eday, of which eight survive today. These have a high group value: for example, scientific dating of Dale burnt mound and the burnt mound at Fersness some 800m to the N has demonstrated that they are significantly different in date. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand the nature of later prehistoric society and domestic settlement in Eday and Orkney more generally.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HY53SW 1.


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.

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, 62-3, no 227.

RCAHMS 1984, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Eday and Stronsay, Orkney Islands Area, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series 23, Edinburgh, 12, no 22.

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

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

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

Towrie, S 2013, A Brief History of Orkney - The Bronze Age,

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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