Celtic: Papa Westray (Orkney) 3500 BC

Holm of Papa Westray, North and South

Thought to have been built around 3500 BC.
Excavated in 1849, no artefacts or human bones were found.

     There are two tomb-like buildings located on the uninhabited islet of Holm of Papa Westray.  It is thought that in prehistoric times the Holm was a promontory attached to the larger Papa Westray island.
     The South cairn is 38m long, 19.5m wide and 3m high and is rectangular in shape.   The entrance passage of 9.1m in length is in the centre of the east-south-east side of the cairn.       It is now closed but access can be gained through a hatch in the roof.  Within this vast structure is a long main chamber (20.4m).  At either end of the chamber there is an extension, divided from the main part by cross-walls with low doorways.
     Twelve side-cells open just off the main opening. Eleven stones of the chamber display zig-zags, circles, inverted V shapes, dots and arcs, in decoration.
     At the opposite end of the islet is a similar but much smaller cairn known as Holm of Papa Westray North.

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