We had a run over to the Unstan Tomb in the evening yesterday. It was a beautiful evening, bit of a chilly breeze, but sunny. The Tomb lays just off the main road to Stromness, down to the right, on the edge of Stenness Loch, just before you get to the Brig O’Waithe.
Quick read of the information board and then it’s a crawl in. I love the entrances to these tombs although I was glad it was dry.
The tomb has been capped with concrete and vents, but more importantly also has 2 good sized sky-lights. Although it’s great going in with your torch and can add to the atmosphere, with the flood of light you can see the full picture of the structure and the beautiful stone used. In this second picture the entrance is to the right just behind my shoulder and just down to the left is an anti chamber.
The small chamber is marked by the blue triangles where the crouching skeletons were found. It was completely dark, not even allowing any of the main chamber light to illuminate it. After a scan round with the torch I positioned the camera and took a flash photo. There was the usual stone structure capped off with a large flat flag stone, but there was also a huge stone at the back of the chamber as in the main part.
Bit of arty stuff now!!!! There was graffiti – bit controversial, but I like it. Having said that there was some half hearted ‘toilet door’ scratchings, but there was some beautiful examples and some old bits. Even this fairly modern graffiti will be the historical writings of the future ! I also loved the skylights and the way the light reflected and dappled on the heavy white washed concrete.
Back along the entrance with it’s well worn flag floor I noticed this long flat stone, not sure if it had been carved or was just naturally worn.
Quick snap of the corner of the information board showing the pottery found here which has so inspired Mr Orkwoodturner.
Well worth a visit, it’s in a beautiful spot. You think you are driving down to somebodies house, but keep going and there is an area to park, the path down is level and easy and there are 2 beautiful friendly horses in the field who followed us down to the tomb, but then went off for an evening graze. The tomb is open all year round and all they ask is you close the gates. Enjoy.