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Maeshowe Historical Facts and Pictures

Built around 2800 BC, the Neolithic passage grave and chamber cairn of Maeshowe is located on Mainland, Orkney, Scotland. It appears to be a grassy mound, mounting from the plains close to the southeast end of the Loch of Harray. One of the finest Neolithic buildings of northwest Europe, Maeshowe consists of burial monuments, villages and stone circles. In 1999, these monuments were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also called Orkahaugr, where “Orka” signifies greatness or power, the source of the name Maeshowe offers various theories and suggestions.

Maeshowe

Maeshowe

Maeshowe Pictures

Maeshowe Pictures

Maeshowe Entrance

Maeshowe Entrance

Maeshowe Entrance

Maeshowe Entrance Way

Maeshowe Entrance Way

Construction and Design

The tomb of Maeshowe is one of the largest ones in Orkney, which is encased by a grassy mound of 115 feet in diameter and 24 feet high. A complex of chambers and passages of crafted flagstone are hidden within the mound.

Maeshowe Aerial View

Maeshowe Aerial View

Maeshowe Photos

Maeshowe Photos

Structural description

The paved entrance passage leads to the small stone-built central chamber, measuring 4.6 meters from each side. Largely constructed of flat slabs of stone, the chamber contains huge angled buttresses at each corner. During the time of winter solstice, the dark passageway is penetrated by sunbeams that illuminate the walls of the chamber. Apart from the central chamber, there are three side cells. The back walls, floors and ceilings of the cells are single stone slabs.

Maeshowe Images

Maeshowe Images

Maeshowe Inside

Maeshowe Inside

Maeshowe Inside

Inside of Maeshowe

Inside of Maeshowe

The Norse Runes

Orkney was ruled by the Norsemen in the 12th century, who breached the mound and left behind an intriguing legacy in the form of runic graffiti, carved all over the inner walls. It is the largest collection of runic inscription surviving outside Scandinavia.

Maeshowe Norse Runes

Maeshowe Norse Runes

Maeshowe Norse Runes Pictures

Maeshowe Norse Runes Pictures

Maeshowe Dragon Inside Wall

Maeshowe Dragon Inside Wall

Category

Scotland

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Quick Info

Tormiston Mill, Stromness, Orkney KW16 3HH, United Kingdom

2800 BC

Chambered cairn
UNESCO World Heritage Site
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/514
+44 1856 761606