Bigland Round, Rousay

Bigland Round, Rousay
(Davidson & Henshall. 1989. The Chambered Cairns of Orkney)
Round cairn.
Tripartite chamber.
Notes:The Bigland Round cairn sits on the lowest of the natural terraces on the south-western side of Faraclett Head, 300 metres to the north-west of the Rinyo Neolithic settlement and 280 metres south-west of Faraclett Head East and West.

In 1935, it survived as a mound with protruding stones. It was excavated in 1938 by Walter Grant, but no report prepared. The investigation saw the site stripped and left open.

The cairn is round though flattened on the eastern side, by the entrance, and has a diameter of between 11.3m and 12.5m.

The entrance passage, on the south-eastern side, measures 1.1m long and 0.5m wide and had been blocked by a large stone, its outer face flush with the cairn’s outer wall.

There is a pair of portal stones at the inner end of the passage, 0.6 and 0.3m long and 0.6m apart. The chamber is 4.8m long by 1.2 to 2.1m wide, divided by paired orthostats into three compartments 1.0, 1.8 and 1.7 m long.

On each side of the innermost compartment were two stones set on edge, only 0.2m high, which were probably the supports for “benches”.

A small hollow dug into the subsoil was found outside the cairn on the south side, 3.4m from the entrance and a mere 0.13m from the cairn’s wall face. It was bottomed by clay and full of black peaty ash.
References:Davidson, J. L. & Henshall, A. S. (1989). The Chambered Cairns of Orkney. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Bigland Round from the air. (