Historic Scotland

Opening times

Blackhammer Chambered Cairn is open year-round.

 

Overview

Enter the chamber of a 5,000-year-old burial monument on the small Orcadian island of Rousay.

Blackhammer is a fine example of a Neolithic chambered tomb, of a type known as a stalled cairn, with a long central chamber divided into seven compartments, or stalls. It is one of 15 chambered cairns on Rousay, of which four are in our care. The other three are:

Each of these cairns were funerary monuments which served small farming communities. Archaeological evidence suggest many were in use for hundreds of years. The contents of the burial chambers were probably cleared periodically: excavations at Blackhammer found just two skeletons.