Dig Dairy Wednesday 2nd August 2017

Updated: Apr 19, 2018

Well that’s all folks – a sad day for us all leaving Rousay on the boat for the last time in 2017:


There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as we watched this magical little island receding in the wake of the MV Eynhallow


We’ve had a great season and we want to extend our thanks to anyone and everyone who’s helped us out this year, the list is long but as he-who-shall-be-obeyed aka Steve the boss hasn’t actually got round to giving me the list I shall just acknowledge everyone I can remember. Big thanks go out to the following who have all helped us immeasurably and we can’t thank them enough and apologies to anyone I've forgotten:

Russell & Kathyrn Marwick

The Rousay Egilsay & Wyre Development Trust

Kirsty Mainland & family

Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre Heritage Society

Julie & Norman Gibson

The Pier Restaurant, The Taversoe, The Hostel and everyone who has rented us accommodation

The People of Rousay & especially the crew of the Eynhallow

A special thanks to all the students from CUNY and the University of Bradford who’ve worked so hard over the 4 weeks of the dig – hope everyone’s knees and backs have now stopped hurting.

We also want to thanks all the other volunteers and specialists who have given up their holidays to come and dig for us – hope we see you next year guys!

Thanks also to Orkney Islands Council and the Orkney Archaeology Society for financial assistance and to Orkney Archaeology Tours for their sponsorship.

Finally big thanks to YOU THE PUBLIC for all your very kind donations to the dig fund.

Now even as we sail wistfully away, possibly with an old Rod Stewart song running through our heads, we are already planning for next year.


It is painfully obvious that we are going to have to move fast and raise some serious money if we’re to have any chance of excavating even the most immediately threatened part of the site – the chambered tomb – which is being eaten away by the sea. At one point it must have been covered by a fair depth of Iron Age, Pictish and Viking buildings but these have been scooped away at the seaward side of the site leaving just the concentric walls of the chambered tomb exposed.



Luckily the chamber itself is further up the slope, and is so far more or less undisturbed – but that could change given a serious winter gale from just the right (or wrong!) direction.

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Swandro - Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust 

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation No: SC047002 

Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay

Registered office: Bayview Birsay Orkney KW17 2LR   email: info@swandro.co.uk