The burnt mound is on the LH side of the road onto the new Hatston pier amongst the new industrial development. Unfortunately it is now fully enclosed by a fence with not even a gate for access. An opportunity for excavation missed.
This last week I have taken new digital images used my SLR (slide film not used up yet) and a mini-DV camcorder to record various features in this area [including a ?land-drain which ends partway down the cliff with six foot depth of narrow drystone wall forming its top]. Coincidentally it has been announced today that the land between Hatston pier [read Lower Saverock] and the main road is being taken into development. To do this they have also bought "a field on the Finstown side". Presumably not disturbing archaeology ?
The conglomerate/puddlestone on the burnt mound's uphill side is becoming buried, probably by the same over-vigorous machining that has further eroded the top. More of the small stones, mostly burnt [though some slightly larger pieces may have been shiny once] are showing now. But more interestingly the polished dark tops of possibly square stones are presently coming level with the surface, and these seem to have some kind of order to them. I managed to get my fingers two or three inches down the side of one without finding a base, though it is too early to be talking of pillars yet. On the top at the Finstown side I'm sure there is some kind of ridge - evidence for a wall beneath or simply a by-product of early digs ? I am reminded a little of the Hawell burnt mound.
The field has passed into active cultivation. The tractor has gone a little up the side of the mound, exposing more material but nothing significantly different. However, this is how erosion starts. The upright stone at the edge facing the main road seems to have gone, it may have been World War stuff but I still hope it is merely hidden by summer vegetation.
Coming along the Grainshore Road and turn off for Hatston pier and near the junction look out for the 6' high mound on your left, betwen the side road and the straightened burn. Naturally enough this patch of land is often rather damp - it is possible to make out where the waters formerly skirted the mound if you look down from the top.
At the uphill side of the mound there is an upright stone projecting through a few inches. But removing the vegetation reveals a conglomerate rock. And though on the one hand I have seen a few samples of apparently natural conglomerate (?puddlestone) in Orkney this whole area was used during WWII and there is a large flat slab of this material by the burn. However I feel sure the 1996 site visit would not have mentioned how unchanged the area was if this had been present. The OS visitor describes a narrow trench across the mound showing the usual burnt material, but this broadens out at the top. Either this latter comes from the original unrecorded excavation or has arisen from a later investigation, perhaps at the same time as the Picky mound was looked at. It is only lately that I have seen exposed material myself, either I was very unobservant before or the grass had grown over it since 1996.