It’s a fair old hike uphill to reach this Chambered Cairn (15 minutes) but it is certainly worth the effort.
By the time I reached the metal door to the Cairn I was breathing hard.
I was glad I decided to leave Sophie and Dafydd in the car!
Although this site is better preserved than the Blackhammer Chamber Cairn it still suffers from the same lack of atmosphere.
This is of course due to the same large concrete cover/ lighting etc.
As with most of the sites I visited on Rousay I had the place to myself.
There are 9 standing stones remaining with the same bright green lichen prevalent.
This site is still worth visiting but you will need to be reasonably fit to do so.
The sign at the roadside says 1/2 mile to walk. But the walk is up quite a steep hillside, so take your time if you're not a confident walker. I found it a bit slippy. It's a nice walk though, past a load of noisy fulmars nesting on the rocky outcrops on the hillside.
It's always damned windy in Orkney, but the gale on that hillside was vicious and bitingly cold. I was very glad to find this tomb was also concrete covered and sealed with a big metal door, giving both the tomb and me some protection from the wind. I took the opportunity to make a quick sketch of the chamber without my paints flying away. I paced out the length at 14ms.
Each side has evenly spaced stalls of big flat stones. The head stone at the end of the
passageway was bright green with alien blood lichen again.
Knowe of Yarso Chambered Cairn
A heavy metal door greets the visitor to this cairn- no crawls on hands and knees here. It's got one of those horrible domed concrete roofs, but the upright stones of the cairn that subdivide the space make up for it. Apparently this place was used almost 5000 years ago with 29 human remains found. 15 skulls were found in a line facing the wall of the innermost compartment. Today someone has left rabbit skulls and flowers down one endÉ.