Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Kestro (6169)

Current Priority
2
East
345010
North
1043170
Site Type
Structure And Anthropogenic Deposits
Period
Indeterminate

Fragments of walling and anthropogenic deposits are exposed in an eroding coastal section for over 50m. The topography of the immediate hinterland area indicates the presence of sub-surface deposits, but there are no clear indications of structural remains. The deposits in section are covered by wind blown sand and topsoil and turf to a depth of 0.4m. These deposits are described as they occur moving from west to east. (i) To the west end of the section, deposits of structural stone, probably the remains of walling, are interspersed with highly organic soils. These deposits extend for 20m or so and are up to 0.5m thick. (ii) A length of drystone walling, over 0.5m high, extends for 8m or so and is associated with soil containing frequent shell and occasional large charcoal fragments. The wall is only partially exposed; the base lies below the level of the beach. (iii) Further deposits of rubble and midden extend for 20m. (iv) Two fragments of walling extend over an area of some 30m and probably represent parts of a single structure. One length of walling measures 10m in length and stands up to 1.5m high; it runs parallel to the section face. The other fragment protrudes from the section face at an oblique angle. Both walls are constructed from regularly coursed thin slabs, bonded with clay and finished to a high quality. Together, they appear to form two sides of a rectilinear structure, the corner of which has been removed by coastal erosion. Neither wall is uncovered in its entirety since the base of the section is obscured by slumped turves. There are well-stratified anthropogenic deposits associated with this walling: a band of peatash, up to 0.2m thick, is interspersed between soil deposits containing fish, mammal and bird bone. Survey and assessment is highly recommended at this site which is very vulnerable to further losses.

06/07/2014 ShoreUPDATE Coast edge has vegetated since the 1998 survey and structural remains only intermittently visible. The 2 end walls and inside face of a back wall of a possible rectangular building, c. 8m in diameter is visible at west end of section. Further structural remains extend for at least 8m eastwards of this. Midden deposits not visible, but a tern colony prevented close access to the site in July, and summer vegetation may be obscuring these deposits.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Fair
Action
Visit - check condition; characterise site and obtain dating evidence ;
Survey site - using several techniques to characterise site ;
Excavate site - open area

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Record WT59 on map Westray: Map 5 in Orkney Coastal Zone Assessment Survey 1998: Westray, Papa Westray, Holm of Papa Westray, West Mainland, 1998

Other records:

NMRS
295710
SMR
Unknown

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

Click on an update to expand it.

6th July, 2014 by training1
Survey Information
User:
training1
Date:
July 6, 2014
Tidal state:
mid
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
coast edge
Coastally eroding?:
has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Description:

Fragments of walling and anthropogenic deposits are exposed in an eroding coastal section for over 50m. The topography of the immediate hinterland area indicates the presence of sub-surface deposits, but there are no clear indications of structural remains. The deposits in section are covered by wind blown sand and topsoil and turf to a depth of 0.4m. These deposits are described as they occur moving from west to east. (i) To the west end of the section, deposits of structural stone, probably the remains of walling, are interspersed with highly organic soils. These deposits extend for 20m or so and are up to 0.5m thick. (ii) A length of drystone walling, over 0.5m high, extends for 8m or so and is associated with soil containing frequent shell and occasional large charcoal fragments. The wall is only partially exposed; the base lies below the level of the beach. (iii) Further deposits of rubble and midden extend for 20m. (iv) Two fragments of walling extend over an area of some 30m and probably represent parts of a single structure. One length of walling measures 10m in length and stands up to 1.5m high; it runs parallel to the section face. The other fragment protrudes from the section face at an oblique angle. Both walls are constructed from regularly coursed thin slabs, bonded with clay and finished to a high quality. Together, they appear to form two sides of a rectilinear structure, the corner of which has been removed by coastal erosion. Neither wall is uncovered in its entirety since the base of the section is obscured by slumped turves. There are well-stratified anthropogenic deposits associated with this walling: a band of peatash, up to 0.2m thick, is interspersed between soil deposits containing fish, mammal and bird bone. Survey and assessment is highly recommended at this site which is very vulnerable to further losses.

06/07/2014 ShoreUPDATE Coast edge has vegetated since the 1998 survey and structural remains only intermittently visible. The 2 end walls and inside face of a back wall of a a possible rectangular building, c. 8m in diameter is visible at west end of section. Further structural remains extend for at least 8m eastwards of this. Midden deposits not visible, but a tern colony prevented close access to the site in July, and summer vegetation may be obscuring these deposits.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
not visible
How visible are the remains? (in section):
limited visibility in section
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible- difficult terrain; accessible on foot (no footpath)
The site is:
don't know
Comments and recommendations
Recommendations:

Section appears more stable and vegetated, despite being visited in the summer, than in 1998. Re-assign Priority 2.