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Dwarfie Stane, Hoy

4.8
#12 of 18 in Historic Sites in Orkney Islands
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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Dwarfie Stane Reviews
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52 reviews
Google
3.3
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    Stopped off here on the way back from the old man of Hoy. Short walk from the the road. Very interesting and thought provoking at how they managed to hollow out the giant stone all those thousands of ...  more »
  • August 10, 2017
    This rock hewn tomb is a good ten minute trek from the Rackwick road. Part of the path has been boarded but most is uneven. On arriving at the stane it is possible to crawl inside and the views across...  more »
  • July 30, 2017
    A great hidden gem. Unique to the UK a hewn stone tomb. The legends around it ate more intetsting than the tomb itself but worth a visit to say you did it whilst also doing the Old Man of Hoy.  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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