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<< Our Photo Pages >> Pickaquoy - Ancient Village or Settlement in Scotland in Orkney
Submitted by howar on Thursday, 29 December 2005 Page Views: 3010
Site Name: Pickaquoy Alternative Name: Picaquoy, Pickequoy|
Country: Scotland County: Orkney Type: Ancient Village or Settlement
Nearest Town: Kirkwall
Map Ref: HY44071116
Latitude: 58.983906N Longitude: 2.974778W
|3||Reasonable but with some damage|
|2||Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site|
|1||Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks|
|5||Can be driven to, probably with disabled access|
|4||Short walk on a footpath|
|3||Requiring a bit more of a walk|
|2||A long walk|
|1||In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find|
|5||co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates|
|4||co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map|
|3||co-ordinates scaled from a bad map|
|2||co-ordinates of the nearest village|
|1||co-ordinates of the nearest town|
External Links: Pickaquoy submitted by howar
Ancient Village or Settlement in Orkney
Coming down the Muddisdale track (the farm a likely looking site for a Viking borg) I thought to essay the Pickaquoy mound now I had a better idea where it lay. Looking across the pitch behind the Pickaquoy Centre I could see the likely candidate in the nearby field, just along from the Centre. So I went through the side gate and struck across to the diametrically opposite corner where I came to a burn I never thought to find, running by the lower boundary. Holding the field wall carefully I swung myself around and slide between two fence lines, so avoiding any pitfalls the grassy bank might hold. Going to the mound I passed over running water and several low humps and ?ditches, making this site feels very much like the remains of a settlement Amongst these I thought I detected an entrance way coming from uphill. I am reminded of the hollow curve across the Knowe of Geoso, also said to be from quarrying, though that is more geometric (also better defined) and far deeper. In one place it is denuded, showing only bare earth. But approaching from Muddisdale in what remains of the actual mound can be seen an excavation trench from last century that resembles burnt mound material, though the red stones amidst the black earth at the top of this section are rather small to my mind (being only a couple of inches or so across it seemed to me - certainly not of an order with those in the middeny material of the cliff-face below Scapa Distillery). At least one slice taken across the main body of the mound is still evident. From the top of the mound you can see the mill buidings where once was only a sand bar, so this place was once near the water's edge just as the IA settlement in front of what is now St.Magnus Cathedral used to be (even in Viking times boats landed before where the cathedral now stands) . The other side of the mound is very marshy, my feet submerging several times before reaching the comparative solidity of the field boundary I can understand why there used to be a ford nearer the Peerie Sea. So was this formerly a stream junction ? Having said which this is still the easier entry point - coming along the Pickaquoy road from the supermarkets take the track turning off for Polrudden Guest House and the field gate is the other side of the modern mound at your left.
RCAHMS NMRS no. HY41SW 13 at HY44071116 on present thinking is a burnt mound, presumably of a similar construction to Hawell (rather than the standard crescentic variety) as the first accounts of this tumulus found what at the time were described as two large cists seperated by 4' of build, the smaller being sub-divided, with decorated stones built into the wall of the mound. So not just a cooking place but also habitation, bringing to mind Liddle (near the Tomb of the Eagles) and Bea, possibly even Brockan in Stromness parish. Though no longer ascribed to a chambered tomb Davidson & Henshall found the decorated stone in the National Museum rather anomalous unless it was of Late Bronze Age date. But when one takes into account that the second large slab had a large cupmark centrally placed with, on another side, no less than thirteeen smaller ones, this dating does seem appropriate. Still a curiosity. However we wonder what would have been the judgement at a time when more stonework remained - putative quarrying at the south and southwest was likely for the lost St.Duthac's chapel in the vicinity, which itself could be indicative of more going on at this site than we can now surmise.
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Pickaquoy submitted by howar
20th C excavation section showing burnt mound construction
Pickaquoy submitted by howar
View of mound looking to Ayre Road, formerly a sand bar
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|Re: Pickaquoy (Score: 0)|
by Anonymous on Wednesday, 16 May 2012
| The mound is now inside the new housing|
| [ Reply to This ]|
We would like to know more about this location. Please feel free to add a brief description and any relevant information in your own language.
Wir möchten mehr über diese Stätte erfahren. Bitte zögern Sie nicht, eine kurze Beschreibung und relevante Informationen in Deutsch hinzuzufügen.
Nous aimerions en savoir encore un peu sur les lieux. S'il vous plaît n'hesitez pas à ajouter une courte description et tous les renseignements pertinents dans votre propre langue.
Quisieramos informarnos un poco más de las lugares. No dude en añadir una breve descripción y otros datos relevantes en su propio idioma.