Maeshowe

Orkney Mainland | Stenness | Chambered cairn | ★★★★★

[Maeshowe]

Maeshowe is the most awe-inspiring chambered tomb anywhere in Europe: 35 metres around, 7 metres high... and 5,000 years old. Awe-inspiring might seem a strange way to describe a dark burial mound, but the experience of a guided tour into the central chamber was enough to make us, and other visitors, gasp in amazement. Neolithic Cathedral has been used to describe the perfectly constructed interior and side chambers, which is all in superb condition apart from the roof. This was broken by Viking crusaders in the mid 1100s, who left a stunning, and amusing, collection of runes / graffiti on the stonework. Meanwhile, the long entrance passage (claustrophobics beware) is exactly aligned with the winter solstice sunset, illuminating the interior by sunlight once a year if the weather allows.

[Approach to Maeshowe]

Location & info

📌 Maeshowe Chambered Cairn ★★★★★
Cairn is off A965 1 mi northeast of Stenness village centre, Orkney Mainland, G.R.: HY 318128 ///paradise.natural.steady
🚌 Bus to Stenness, where all tours begin | 🚗 Car park at visitor centre
Open daily, by booked guided tour only | £9 adult / £5.40 child / free for Historic Environment Scotland members

💬 All tours start from the visitor centre on Ireland Road, Stenness village centre, G.R.: HY 306117 ///magically.handsets.became with shuttle bus access to the cairn.


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