Digging into Birsay’s Past

The hunt for medieval structures continues in Palace Village, Birsay Orkney.

Birsay Village

Photo F Grahame

A team from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute together with community volunteers will commence the excavation phase of the exciting community archaeology ‘Mapping Magnus’ project by digging test pits around the medieval site of the Bishops Palace.

Birsay old map

Buckquoy_Earls_Palace_Brough_of_Birsay_Ordinance_survey_one_inch_1912 By OS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The dig begins on the 25th September and continues for two weeks until 6th October 2017 and visitors are most welcome to view the excavations as they happen and discuss the progress with the team as they continue to investigate medieval Palace Village.


Dressed red sandstone that was once part of a high status building now found in walls about the village

The digs commence at 9am and finish at 5pm each day.

You can join the team by contacting UHI Archaeology Institute’s Lifelong Learning and Outreach Archaeologist, Dan Lee at studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk – no previous archaeological experience is necessary as training will be given, but please contact us as places are now limited. Volunteers meet at Palace village car park opposite the kirk.

There will also be an Open Day on 30th September in which visitors can view the progress and discuss the results with the archaeologists. Join the conversation #MappingMagnus #Magnus900

Mapping Magnus poster 001The Orkney News has been reporting on the Mapping Magnus project throughout the summer and you can catch our stories by clicking on the links below.

Mapping Magnus

Spend Some Time Mapping Magnus

Mapping Medieval Birsay

Exploring Orkney Archives for Birsay’s Medieval Past

Coastal Survey at Birsay


Categories: Uncategorized

Tagged as: , , , , , , ,

3 replies »

Leave a Reply