The Cairns – The Hole in the Wall

Chamber 2

The final week of the dig at The Cairns has revealed some interesting discoveries. Kevin Kerr, Finds Supervisor and MSc Archaeological Practice Student takes up the story….

The photograph of the newly exposed west face of the inner broch wall posted on day 15 also shows that there was still a thin section of infill present. This was left due to the rubble showing signs of a possible partition wall.

ChamberA few scrapes and half a bucket later, a large void in the rubble was revealed heading into the inner broch wall. Closer inspection revealed a magnificently roofed cell/passage, apparently curving to the right.

You can see the void as a dark patch above the rubble.

As the dig came to a halt, evryone was drawn to the hole in the wall of the broch. Looking inside, we could see a wonderful complete and immaculate chamber set within the wall. We were the first people to see into this space for perhaps 2000 years and the excitement was palpable. The roof is still in place and the wall stonework also appears to be intact. Only tomorrow will confirm what lies beneath.

It was also a momentous day for the team working on the outer entrance of the broch as they lifted the last roofing slabs of the souterrain to expose the fine masonry on either side of the passageway. Again for the first time in 2000 years.


Thanks to Sigurd Towrie and Orkneyjar.