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Dwarfie Stane, Hoy

4.8
#11 of 18 in Historic Sites in Orkney Islands
Ruin Historic Site
The Dwarfie Stane is a megalithic chambered tomb carved out of a titanic block of Devonian Old Red Sandstone located in a steep-sided glaciated valley between the settlements of Quoys and Rackwick on Hoy, an island in Orkney, Scotland. The stone is a glacial erratic located in desolate peatland.The attribution as a tomb was originally based on its resemblance to recognized tombs in southern Europe. The Dwarfie Stane is the only chambered tomb in Orkney that is cut from stone rather than built from stones and may be the only example of a Neolithic rock-cut tomb in Britain. However, despite its unique construction, its plan is consistent with the so-called Orkney-Cromarty class of chambered tomb found throughout Orkney. Some authors have referred to this type of tomb as Bookan-class, after a chambered cairn in Mainland, although there's some disagreement as to the relationship between the two tomb types.A stone slab originally blocked the entrance to the tomb on its west side, but now lies on the ground in front of it. It is unique in northern Europe, bearing similarity to Neolithic or Bronze Age tombs around the Mediterranean. R. Castleden refers to the Dwarfie Stane as representing "the imported idea of the rock-cut tomb" that was "tried once and found to be unsatisfactory", perhaps due to the hardness of the Old Red Sandstone. There is no direct evidence, however, of any link to the builders of the Mediterranean rock-cut tombs.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
48 reviews
Google
3.3
TripAdvisor
  • It's only a ten minute walk from the road. There's a small car park, and the path is well maintained - much boardwalk stops your feet getting wet across the peaty ground. I'd recently seen it on telev...  more »
  • On our day trip to Hoy the weather was wet, windy and low cloud. We found the path to the Dwarfie Stane on our way to Rathwick, and it was a pleasant walk across boardwalks and up stone steps to find ...  more »
  • The dwarfism stone has a small car park and is found on the road to rackwick bay. There is a sort of path to it but good footwear is recommended. The stone seems to have been left behind from ancient ...  more »
Google
  • Lovely walk to it and surroundings. But we found some woman sleeping in it with all her shite everywhere. My partner who made the extra effort to get there was really disappointed and so was i. Ok fair play thats pretty cool sleeping in a tomb but she wasnt happy we woke her up. Never got inside so no idea on it.

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