Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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North Links (5942)

Current Priority
2
East
348500
North
997500
Site Type
Settlement And Artefact Scatters
Period
1st millennium BC/1st millennium AD

The landowner withheld permission to visit this site: the following account is based on previous reports. Copious surface finds of animal bone, worked stone tools, an upper rotary quern stone, iron and glassy slag, sherds of pottery dating to the early Iron Age and Later Iron Age, and a fragment of a double-sided composite hair comb indicate extensive settlement in the Links. Scattered finds, extensive horizons of organic midden deposits, broken-off orthostats and scant wall foundations have been noted over several acres. This is the result of past and present sand extraction. Four decorated antler mounts were discovered by tourists among midden material on the settlement site which is being quarried away by the landowner. The mounts are decorated with geometric motifs and ring and dot patterns which are best paralleled in late Roman and early Germanic objects from Britain and the Continent. Following a Treasure Trove enquiry, these objects have been disposed to Tankerness House Museum, Kirkwall. A stone 'egg' amulet was found in 1989 and is now also at the Museum in Kirkwall (acc.#1989.38.1), (Hunter, 1993). An inspection of aerial photographs shows increasing and widespread disturbance to the N end of the bay, presumably the result of sand extraction. While no damage is apparent on AP's from 1948, localised damage was visible on the 1975 survey. The latest APs (taken in 1987) show the damage to be widespread, and, by all accounts, sand extraction has continued apace up to the present time.

9 May 2015 Coast edge walked, nothing visible in exposed faces of dunes. The storm beach has been deliberately re-graded to form a defence of the low-lying areas along the dune front. The area of dunes behind the coast was not walked over, but sand extraction and use of the area for motorsports is ongoing.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Not inspec
Action
Undertake DBA - analysis of aerial photographs ;
Visit - check condition; characterise site and obtain dating evidence ;
Develop management plan with landowner and heritage agency

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Record B40 on map Burray: Map 4 in Report on a Coastal Zone Assessment Survey of Orkney: Burra, Flotta, Graemsay, Hoy, S. Ronaldsay, 1997

Other records:

NMRS
9575
SMR
Unknown

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

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9th May, 2015 by training1
Survey Information
User:
training1
Date:
May 9, 2015
Site located?:
No
Condition Information
Description:

The landowner withheld permission to visit this site: the following account is based on previous reports. Copious surface finds of animal bone, worked stone tools, an upper rotary quern stone, iron and glassy slag, sherds of pottery dating to the early Iron Age and Later Iron Age, and a fragment of a double-sided composite hair comb indicate extensive settlement in the Links. Scattered finds, extensive horizons of organic midden deposits, broken-off orthostats and scant wall foundations have been noted over several acres. This is the result of past and present sand extraction. Four decorated antler mounts were discovered by tourists among midden material on the settlement site which is being quarried away by the landowner. The mounts are decorated with geometric motifs and ring and dot patterns which are best paralleled in late Roman and early Germanic objects from Britain and the Continent. Following a Treasure Trove enquiry, these objects have been disposed to Tankerness House Museum, Kirkwall. A stone 'egg' amulet was found in 1989 and is now also at the Museum in Kirkwall (acc.#1989.38.1), (Hunter, 1993). An inspection of aerial photographs shows increasing and widespread disturbance to the N end of the bay, presumably the result of sand extraction. While no damage is apparent on AP's from 1948, localised damage was visible on the 1975 survey. The latest APs (taken in 1987) show the damage to be widespread, and, by all accounts, sand extraction has continued apace up to the present time.

9 May 2015 Coast edge walked, nothing visible in exposed faces of dunes, storm beach has been deliberately re-graded to form a defence of the low-lying areas along the dune front. The area of dunes behind the coast was not walked over, but sand extraction and use of the area for motorsports is ongoing.

Management Information
Comments and recommendations
Comments:

Did not walk beyond farm.

Recommendations:

Reassign to category 2-3 on the basis of no archaeological deposits visible in the coast edge. Hinterland is being damaged as a result of current land use.

Photos