Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Peterkirk (6829)

Current Priority
2
East
371360
North
1043630
Site Type
Mound & Coastal Exposure
Period
1st mill BC- 1st AD/10-14thC

This alleged site of a chapel and broch is an elongated mound, which has been vertically truncated by coastal erosion. The long axis of the mound runs parallel with the coast; it extends for over 70m and is up to 50m wide. At its highest point, the mound stands to 3.75m above the level of the storm beach. Inland, it extends into a pasture field and is very overgrown. A drystone wall runs along its length. At the highest point of the mound, a curving earthwork may be part of a enclosure; it appears too wide to be part of a broch wall. The erosion face has slumped and is overgrown, but there are intermittent exposures in which archaeological deposits can be seen. These occur mostly towards the base of the section and appear to continue below the level of the present beach. Exposed deposits include layers of very organic soils, some with inclusions of animal bone and shell, and possible fragmentary structures. Previous records mention a stone-lined well of the type often found in association with brochs; this is no longer in evidence. Ref.: RCAHMS (1946), #460; RCAHMS (1980), #181.

CP- Site is as described above, although what is thought to be the well was located. Local tradition stated that the well was dangerous and had been infilled with debris such as old fence wire. A deep, drystone lined circular shaft was located on the seaward side of the modern wall. This was obscured by rolls of rusty fencing wire and is most likely the well referred to. I could see no obvious evidence of a chapel but the mound is a classic Orkney broch mound. The erosion face is relatively stable, with only the lower part affected in places.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Fair/poor
Action
Survey site - using several techniques to characterise site ;
Monitor site to report fresh exposures

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Record SY182 on map Sanday: Map 14 in Orkney Coastal Survey: Sanday & North Ronaldsay, 1999

Other records:

NMRS
3626
SMR
SMR276

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

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26th June, 2013 by cparker
Survey Information
User:
cparker
Date:
June 26, 2013
Tidal state:
low
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
<10m
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Other threats?:
ploughing
Description:

This alleged site of a chapel and broch is an elongated mound, which has been vertically truncated by coastal erosion. The long axis of the mound runs parallel with the coast; it extends for over 70m and is up to 50m wide. At its highest point, the mound stands to 3.75m above the level of the storm beach. Inland, it extends into a pasture field and is very overgrown. A drystone wall runs along its length. At the highest point of the mound, a curving earthwork may be part of a enclosure; it appears too wide to be part of a broch wall. The erosion face has slumped and is overgrown, but there are intermittent exposures in which archaeological deposits can be seen. These occur mostly towards the base of the section and appear to continue below the level of the present beach. Exposed deposits include layers of very organic soils, some with inclusions of animal bone and shell, and possible fragmentary structures. Previous records mention a stone-lined well of the type often found in association with brochs; this is no longer in evidence. Ref.: RCAHMS (1946), #460; RCAHMS (1980), #181.

CP- Site is as described above, although what is thought to be the well was located. Local tradition stated that the well was dangerous and had been infilled with debris such as old fence wire. A deep, drystone lined circular shaft was located on the seaward side of the modern wall. This was obscured by rolls of rusty fencing wire and is most likely the well referred to. I could see no obvious evidence of a chapel but the mound is a classic Orkney broch mound. The erosion face is relatively stable, with only the lower part affected in places.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
limited visibility (partial remains)
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:
has local associations/history
Comments and recommendations
Recommendations:

Geophysical survey of landward side. Monitoring of coastal exposure.