Tomb of the Eagles & Banks Chambered Tomb

Orkney | South Ronaldsay | Chambered cairns | ★★★★

[Getting into Tomb of the Eagles is aided by a helpful trolley!]

Right at the far, southern tip of South Ronaldsay, there are a couple of chambered cairns which offer something a little different to the rest of Orkney's tombs. Tomb of the Eagles (which used to be known as Isbister Chambered Cairn) is the most popular site: thirty human skulls as well as the remains of fourteen sea eagles were found upon excavation by a local farmer in 1958 - did eagles have some sort of special significance to this tribe? The site is a scenic half mile walk, via a Bronze Age burnt mound, from the excellent visitor centre where not only can you view dozens of the artefacts found inside the tomb, but even hold some of them - a highly unusual experience on Orkney. Not to be outdone, part of Banks Chambered Tomb (only discovered in 2010) still contains human remains - a rather chilling experience as you crawl around in the rest of the confined space - as well as liberal quantities of otter spraint. Entrance to Banks Chambered Tomb is by guided tour from Skerries Bistro, which serves classy seafood dishes. You can handle some of the artefacts here too.

[Liddle Burnt Mound]

Location & info

📌 Banks Chambered Tomb ★★★ or Tomb of the Otters
At minor road end 2 mi east of Burwick, South Ronaldsay, G.R.: ND 458834 ///grades.pythons.ranked
Probably open daily from early May. No closing date specified at time of update: September in 2018. Tours have limited numbers - leave plenty of time in case you have to wait | £6 adult / £3 child

📌 Tomb of the Eagles ★★★★ or Isbister Chambered Cairn
Visitor centre is at minor road end 2 mi east of Burwick, South Ronaldsay, G.R.: ND 462838 ///tens.worldwide.brotherly
Open daily, March to October (limited hours in March & October) | £7.80 adult / £2.50-£3.50 child

[Ham Geo, on the coastal route back to the visitor centre from Tomb of the Eagles]


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