Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Lower Cornquoy, barrow 225m SSE of, Holm

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

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 58.8815 / 58°52'53"N

Longitude: -2.8275 / 2°49'38"W

OS Eastings: 352394

OS Northings: 999647

OS Grid: ND523996

Mapcode National: GBR M5C8.5FD

Mapcode Global: WH7CS.J1S5

Entry Name: Lower Cornquoy, barrow 225m SSE of, Holm

Scheduled Date: 30 January 1995

Last Amended: 29 September 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6153

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Holm

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray

Traditional County: Orkney


The monument is the remains of a Bronze Age barrow dating probably to the 2nd millennium BC. Its unusual field characteristics suggest it is an example of a disc barrow, which is a rare form of barrow, particularly in Scotland. This example survives as grass-covered earthen remains, with a central low mound or platform measuring approximately 8m in diameter, surrounded by a low bank and an external ditch. The overall diameter of the barrow is approximately 19.2m including external banks. The bank measures up to 2.2m wide and 0.3m high and the external ditch is approximately 1.5m wide and 0.2m deep. It is likely that the central platform would have contained one or more burials. These elements are well-defined on the NW, SW and NE sides, but the form of the monument has been disturbed by later activity on the SE arc. The monument is situated on relatively low-lying level ground at the southern tip of Mainland, at around 10m above sea level. The monument was originally scheduled in 1995, but the scheduled area was inaccurate: the present amendment rectifies this.

The scheduled area is roughly rectangular in plan and 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. The scheduled area extends up to, but does not include, the post-and-wire fences and gates on the NE and SE sides of the monument.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as it has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of the form, function and distribution of Bronze Age barrows, an important part of Orkney's Bronze Age landscape. It can make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, particularly the design and construction of Bronze Age burial monuments, the nature of burial practices, and their significance in prehistoric and later society. The evidence such sites hold pertaining to burial practices in the Bronze Age is important to the interpretation of Bronze Age society, as they often provide the main material evidence for this period in Scotland. The barrow at Cornquoy is particularly important as a well-preserved barrow with rare and distinctive field characteristics, more commonly associated with the ritual and funerary landscapes of Wessex. It therefore has the potential to add to our understanding of different burial forms and practices during the Bronze Age and the reasons behind this. The loss of this monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape and the meaning and importance of death and burial in prehistoric times.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as ND59NW 5.


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.

Hedges, M E 1978-80, 'Short cists recently excavated at Lower Ellibister and other locations in Orkney', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 110, 44-71.

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, no 280, 82.

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

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.