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Racing Against Time and Tide at the Knowe of Swandro

Please see our information about the excavation and about the Trust to find out more about our activities. You may also be interested in the index of all our past dig diary entries.


We welcome visitors to the excavation during the dig season and we are also happy to take volunteers subject to space being available.


We couldn't work at Swandro without our supporters, most importantly the landowners at Swandro, Russell & Kathryn Marwick, to whom we are extremely grateful, and also the people of Rousay



The archaeological site at the Knowe of Swandro, in the Orkney island of Rousay, is being destroyed by coastal erosion. This important site includes a 5,000-year-old Neolithic chambered tomb, where the outer walls are washing away and the erosion front is perilously close to the (so far) undisturbed burial chamber. Iron Age roundhouses, together with Pictish buildings and a Viking settlement, have been exposed by the erosion and much has already been irrevocably destroyed by the sea. We are a registered Scottish charity raising money to excavate and record the site before its inevitable destruction.


We hope our 2018 season will be from late June until early August - watch this space for details. Please help: we are currently appealing for donations to fund a trailer for use as a site hut, please visit our donations page for details on how you can make a contribution, any amount large or small received with thanks!