Live /

Following the Scottish Government's announcement our sites in mainland Scotland are closed. Find out more about our COVID response



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.

Historic Scotland

Opening times

This site is closed. 

We’re working hard to gradually reopen the places you love while making sure the experience is safe for everyone.


Download our visitor app

Discover more on the go – the Historic Scotland app lets you find out about Scotland’s most iconic places wherever you are.

Plan your visit

More than 20 of our sites are now open. Please book your tickets in advance.

Become a member

Join Historic Scotland to visit our properties free of charge for a full year and support our work at the same time.

Hire a site for filming

Use one of our fantastic locations on your next shoot for an awe-inspiring backdrop to your work.

Learning visits

Our 300+ historic places serve as creative inspiration for all sorts of learning activities – and for learners of all ages.

Search our events

See the past brought to life by the imaginative year-round programme of events at our properties.