Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Peterkirk (6198)

Current Priority
2
East
349980
North
1040080
Site Type
Chapel, Broch
Period
3rd-1st millennium BC / 10th-14 C

A large, amorphous mound measures 25m in diameter and stands up to 2m high. The sides of the mound are pitted and structural remains are revealed both in the side of the mound and in a coastal exposure to the seaward side. Structures (i) and (ii) are set into a mound which appears to predate them. A short exposure in the seaward side of the mound reveals stony midden deposits with peat ash and inclusions of bone, shell, charcoal and worked whalebone. It would appear that these deposits derive from an earlier period of settlement, possibly associated with structure (iii). (i) To the south side of the mound a rectangular structure may be the chapel which is alleged to have stood on this site. It measures 7m by 3.5m internally and is defined by coursed walling which protruded from beneath a turf covering. Inside, there is a central division formed by an upright slab set at 90 degrees to the inner wall face. (ii) To the west side of the mound there is a length of substantial walling which is visible for almost 10m and stands to at least 0.3m high. It may form an outer wall face to the chapel (i) or part of an associated enclosure wall. (iii) To the northwest side of the mound an oval depression appears to form the interior of a structure. There is some stone visible to the sides of this depression which may be walling. This putative structure measures 5m wide by 6m long. This site is very vulnerable to further losses and requires thorough assessment as soon as possible.

11 May 2015 Site as described, structural remains visible in coast edge include drystone walling, slabbed paving and upright orthostats. Rescue excavation, EASE Archaeology 2000.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Fair
Action
Monitor site to report fresh exposures

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Record WT125 on map Westray: Map 8 in Orkney Coastal Zone Assessment Survey 1998: Westray, Papa Westray, Holm of Papa Westray, West Mainland, 1998

Other records:

NMRS
2819
SMR
Unknown

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

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11th May, 2015 by training1
Survey Information
User:
training1
Date:
May 11, 2015
Tidal state:
high
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
coast edge
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion; has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Other threats?:
stock erosion
Description:

A large, amorphous mound measures 25m in diameter and stands up to 2m high. The sides of the mound are pitted and structural remains are revealed both in the side of the mound and in a coastal exposure to the seaward side. Structures (i) and (ii) are set into a mound which appears to predate them. A short exposure in the seaward side of the mound reveals stony midden deposits with peat ash and inclusions of bone, shell, charcoal and worked whalebone. It would appear that these deposits derive from an earlier period of settlement, possibly associated with structure (iii). (i) To the south side of the mound a rectangular structure may be the chapel which is alleged to have stood on this site. It measures 7m by 3.5m internally and is defined by coursed walling which protruded from beneath a turf covering. Inside, there is a central division formed by an upright slab set at 90 degrees to the inner wall face. (ii) To the west side of the mound there is a length of substantial walling which is visible for almost 10m and stands to at least 0.3m high. It may form an outer wall face to the chapel (i) or part of an associated enclosure wall. (iii) To the northwest side of the mound an oval depression appears to form the interior of a structure. There is some stone visible to the sides of this depression which may be walling. This putative structure measures 5m wide by 6m long. This site is very vulnerable to further losses and requires thorough assessment as soon as possible.

11 May 2015 Site as described, structural remains visible in coast edge include drystone walling, slabbed paving and upright orthostats. Rescue excavation, EASE Archaeology 2000.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
highly visible (substantial remains)
How visible are the remains? (in section):
clearly visible in section
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible on foot (no footpath)
Comments and recommendations
Comments:

This site is probably associated with the adjacent mounds 6199, which probably represent extra-mural settlement

Recommendations:

This site is closely related to 6199; reassign to priority 2

EASE excavations focused on the mound; extramural settlement remains uninvestigated and need further characterisation, actively eroding.