To the Ancient Scotland Introduction...

Maes Howe Chambered Cairn

All pictures copyright © 1998 Martin McCarthy

pics/thumb/maeshowe-1298-1.jpg The back wall of Maes Howe
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pics/thumb/maeshowe-1298-2.jpg The front wall and entrance passage of Maes Howe
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pics/thumb/maeshowe-1298-4.jpg Looking west towards Maes Howe from the surrounding ditch
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pics/thumb/maeshowe-1298-5.jpg Looking north-east towards then entrance of Maes Howe
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pics/thumb/maesrunes-1298-1.jpg Some of the runes carved by Norsemen in the 12th Century AD.
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pics/thumb/maesmound1.jpg Looking north towards Maes Howe. The two yardsticks on the left are 6 feet and 5 feet 1 inch tall.
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pics/thumb/maessun1.jpg Light from the mid-winter sunset starts to creep down the entrance passage of Maes Howe.
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pics/thumb/maessun2.jpg Light from the mid-winter sunset reaches the doorway of Maes Howe.
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pics/thumb/maessun3.jpg Light from the mid-winter sunset edges past the doorway of Maes Howe and starts to spill across the floor of the main chamber.
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Maes Howe tomb is near the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar on the Orkney Mainland.

This superb structure dates to somewhere around 3000BC.

The mound is 7.3 metres high and 35 metres in diameter. It is surrounded by a ditch and low bank.

The long, low entrance passage leads to the main chamber which is about 4.5 metres square and would have been about 4.5 metres in height; however the roof collapsed after being entered by Norsemen in the 12th century. These raiders left runic graffitti over much of the main chamber stones.

There are three subsidiary chambers in the walls of the main chamber.

At mid winter, the setting sun shines down the passage and shines on the back wall of the tomb.