UPDATE ON VIKING WEEK!......Scottish Archaeology Month....Hoxa Head…..

by Bernie Bell - 08:12 on 29 August 2022


Please note that there have been some updates and additions to the programme which you can see on the programme website , so please check if you are planning to take part. Of special note is that due to the need to coordinate Maeshowe availability with museum opening times and Birsay tide-times, the Rune Round is now on Saturday the 10th September, not Sunday 11th as originally advertised. Historic Environment Scotland has very kindly agreed to put on an extra tour of Maeshowe at 3 pm. This tour is not on general sale to the public. If you plan to take part in the Maeshowe visit as part of the Rune Round, please could you make sure you sign up on Eventbrite and tick the box to indicate that you would like to visit Maeshowe (cost: £9.50 adults). You can also sign up on Eventbrite if you want to come to any part of the day, but if you aren't coming to Maeshowe you don’t need to pre-book – just turn up. The main thing is that Raggie needs to know how many are coming to Maeshowe so she can phone in the morning to let them know numbers. 



And….. https://www.archaeologyscotland.org.uk/the-scottish-archaeology-month-2022-programme/  ‘Nuff said….


Mostly Hoxa Images

We’ve been to Hoxa Head many times, and I’ve written about it previously……  https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/06/15/heading-to-hoxa-head/ , but the walk suited the day, and there’s always something different to notice on any walk however many times you do it.  So we  headed for Hoxa again, noticing on the way the golden fields of barley - many of which have already been harvested.  A bit more fine weather and the farmers will be out ‘til all hours with the lights on on their harvesters – it needs to be done quickly before the weather breaks into Autumn.

Among the war buildings at Hoxa, I have to admit that we did go into some of them – only some – being sensible.  Some of them, it would be simply foolish to venture in.  We played with the acoustics in the same one as last time, and I noticed graffiti…

...including some dates of interest…….

I was a bit uncertain about the authenticity of the 1937 date, so checked with Canmore…. https://canmore.org.uk/site/9622/south-ronaldsay-hoxa-head-balfour-battery ……and I quote…

“Hoxa Head overlooks the main entrance into Scapa Flow through Hoxa Sound. Hoxa Battery was built in the First World War at the southern tip of the peninsula and equipped with 6-inch gun emplacements and magazines. In the Second World War it was rebuilt with two 6-inch gun emplacements and magazines, an observation post, an engine-room and footings for searchlights.”

What looked to me like a moustachioed face….

There are stoat traps everywhere these days, though the stoats hadn’t arrived in Orkney when the War structures were built…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/01/28/be-ware-of-stoats/ …..


Slivers of fossilized fish scales….

In one of the structures, a carefully constructed swallows nest – empty now as they will have fledged and and be preparing to leave for warmer climes soon….

An intriguing gully leading to one of the structures – something ‘Lord of the Rings’ about it…….


My favourite for the day…..Shapes & Light…


In the bay just before we turn up to go back to the car.....

…rusty remnant of a boat.


I don’t know why this kind of thing appeals to me, but it does.

Sitting on the rocks by the wreck and looking about us, we felt that the madness of the world today was a million miles away – one of the reasons for getting out and about – needing to detach for a time – sanity strategy.


Here’s one Mike made earlier…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/08/02/poetry-corner-the-reason-for-green/



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