Ancient Monuments

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Auskerry, burnt mound 260m south west of Loch of Dinnapow

A Scheduled Monument in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.0328 / 59°1'58"N

Longitude: -2.5715 / 2°34'17"W

OS Eastings: 367296

OS Northings: 1016340

OS Grid: HY672163

Mapcode National: GBR N40V.NPB

Mapcode Global: WH8D8.G7Q5

Entry Name: Auskerry, burnt mound 260m SW of Loch of Dinnapow

Scheduled Date: 11 December 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13383

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: burnt mound

Location: Stronsay

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Traditional County: Orkney


The monument comprises the remains of a well-preserved burnt mound dating probably to the Bronze Age (some time between 2000 and 800 BC). It is visible as a roughly crescent-shaped grass-covered mound, which measures approximately 24m E-W by 25.6m N-S and stands up to 1.5m high. The mound is situated inland on the island of Auskerry, at around 10m above sea level, and is surrounded by low-lying boggy ground. The monument was originally scheduled in 1955 as part of a group of monuments, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, 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 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 a nearby settlement site of probable Iron Age date is interesting and provides an opportunity to study the temporal and spatial relationship between the two sites and changes in society over time. This burnt mound is also one of a number of broadly contemporary monuments in Auskerry, a relatively remote Orkney island: studied together, the Auskerry monuments have high potential to inform us about changes in settlement, daily life and agricultural practices 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 Orkney.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HY61NE 2.


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, 337, no 1001.

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, 33, no 185.

ScARF 2013, Burnt Mounds, The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework, [accessed July 2013].

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.

Towrie, S 2013, A brief history of Orkney - the Bronze Age, [accessed July 2013].

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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