Bigland Long, Rousay

Bigland Long, Rousay
(Davidson & Henshall. 1989. The Chambered Cairns of Orkney)
Rectangular cairn.
Two stalled chambers.
Notes:A large, turf-covered cairn perhaps incorporating two separate stalled chambers.

Measuring 28 metres long and orientated north-west to south-east, the denuded cairn is widest (c14.5m) at its south-eastern end. The angle of stone slabs projecting from the mound suggests the divisional orthostats and backslabs of two chambers.

The longest chamber follows the NW to SE axis of the cairn and possibly divided into six compartments. A back slab at its north-western end suggests the entrance was in the south-eastern end. This was presumably the primary construction, which was blocked/sealed off by the addition of a second, smaller, chamber aligned east-west.

The second chamber was approximately five metres long but the number of compartments is not clear.

According to Davidson and Henshall, the irregularly-shaped Bigland Long cairn had “every appearance of being a two-phase structure, the earlier a long chamber probably in a rectangular cairn with a smaller chamber built in front, skew to the axis, and surrounded by an extension of the cairn.”
References:Davidson, J. L. & Henshall, A. S. (1989). The Chambered Cairns of Orkney. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.