Ancient Monuments

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Greentoft, burnt mound 350m SSW of, Eday

A Scheduled Monument in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.1443 / 59°8'39"N

Longitude: -2.7832 / 2°46'59"W

OS Eastings: 355289

OS Northings: 1028870

OS Grid: HY552288

Mapcode National: GBR M4HK.FQW

Mapcode Global: WH7BG.6FX8

Entry Name: Greentoft, burnt mound 350m SSW of, Eday

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1936

Last Amended: 20 October 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1287

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, which was in use between around 2800 BC and 1200 BC (late Neolithic to Bronze Age) according to scientific dating by luminescence. It is visible as a crescent-shaped grass-covered mound, measuring approximately 30m NW-SE by 36m transversely and standing around 0.5m high. It is composed mainly of accumulated burnt stones and other burnt material. Two hollow areas in the interior indicate the likely position of activity areas or trough sites. The mound is situated on low-lying improved pasture at the SW end of Eday, at around 53m above sea level. 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, measuring 46m 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. Specifically excluded from the scheduled area are the above-ground elements of a stone dyke, to the N of the burnt mound, to allow for its maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of the past, in particular, the dating, form and function of burnt mounds and their placing within the landscape. This burnt mound is a reasonably well-preserved example of its type, and its proximity to two other examples close by gives it added potential to enhance our understanding of burnt mounds as components of the wider prehistoric landscape in Orkney. This has been demonstrated by Anthony's (2003) study, which revealed not only their longevity of use, but also a pattern of shifting locations of burnt mounds in this island landscape over several millennia. 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 Eday and Orkney.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HY52NE 4.


Anthony, I 2003, Luminescence Dating of Scottish Burnt Mounds: New Investigations in Orkney and Shetland, Unpublished 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, 63, no 233.

ScARF, 2013, 3.3.1 'Burnt Mounds', The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework website,

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',

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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