Tuesday, July 5, 2022
EntertainmentNews5,000-year-old cairn Maeshowe opens to visitors

5,000-year-old cairn Maeshowe opens to visitors

MAESHOWE, one of Orkney’s most renowned prehistoric sites has reopened to the public.

Access to the 5,000-year-old chambered cairn has been restricted due to the pandemic but the visitor centre reopened last year to share the site’s story with visitors to the islands.

The finest surviving Neolithic structure in North-West, the burial site is regarded as a masterpiece of neolithic design and construction.

Externally the site resembles a large grassy mound, the word ‘howe’ deriving from the old Norse for ‘hill.’

It doesn’t look like much from the outside but it is one of Scotland’s finest surviving neolithic structures.

Visitors enter by stooping to walk along a long passageway before reaching the impressive central stone-built chamber.

Maeshowe is a central part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

Along with other local neolithic period sites – Stones of Steness, Ring of Brodgar and Sakara Brae village it is located in one of the richest neolithic landscapes in Europe, a place of stone circles, villages and burial mounds.

HES (Historic Environment Scotland) reopened over 70% of its estate last year, however, some of the sites had remained closed during the pandemic.

Visitors can now book tickets to the historic attraction as part of HES’s new seasonal activity for 2022 with more sites set to follow in reopening across the country on a rolling basis.

Stephen Duncan, director of marketing and engagement at HES said: “We are delighted to have even more of our sites such as Maeshowe reopening up and down the country and across our Islands for the summer season, allowing us to again provide visitors with the opportunity to enjoy much-loved heritage attractions.???

“With over 5,000 years of history in our care, we have adopted a phased approach to reopening a lot of our sites.

“Presenting as diverse a mix of attractions as possible and?we are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to enjoy more and more of Scotland’s world-class historic environment after what has been an extremely challenging time for everyone involved in the tourism and heritage sectors.”???

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