Holm of Papa Westray South Chambered Cairn3D Model
This Neolithic chambered cairn is situated on the Holm of Papa Westray, a small uninhabited island off Papa Westray, Orkney. The enormous drystone structure belongs to a classification of monuments known as the ‘Maeshowe Group’.
Its entrance passage leads to a long central chamber (divided by two cross-walls) from which radiate 12 side cells. The internal structure is encased within a large rectangular cairn.
The tomb was excavated in 1849 by Captain F. Thomas, who noted many examples of Neolithic art pecked into the interior stonework. There was no evidence for human burial, but this function can be inferred by analogy with other chambered cairns.
The chamber is now accessed via a hatch and ladder through the modern concrete roof, which was added in 1931.
The site is in the care of HES. It’s open to the public and free to visit. For information on visiting, see our website. Discover more history of Holm of Papa Westray South in the HES Archives