We Went To The Ness! – 2019

By Bernie Bell

Pics by B&M Bell

Exceptional things are still being found at the Ness of Brodgar  – extra-ordinary things will continue to be found at the Ness, all that’s needed is the money, the time, and the volunteer diggers. If you’d like to help with money, go to the website to donate, or for that matter, if you’d like to find out how to volunteer for next year!  Time, is in the hands of the Gods.

Even in the last few days, some fine examples of carved stones have been found  http://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/ . One of these, to me, recalls a carving at the entrance to Fourknocks cairn in the Bru na Boinne , Republic of Ireland

Fourknocks Cairn stone Bell

Carving from Fourknocks Cairn

It’s quite hard to present new images of the site itself, as it is, thankfully, becoming so famous, that there are lots of images available on the Internet.  So, I thought I’d start with an overview, from the viewing platform …..

Ness of Brodgar Bell

…then present the reader with a mixture of images of things which caught my eye, around the site.

As we came down from the viewing platform, we met Bryn-The-Dog.  Nick Card, the site Director, is Bryn’s human, and this means that Bryn has a rare old time of it in the digging season, spending time outdoors, with lots of attention, and treats from the diggers as they eat their lunches.

Bryn the dog Bell

Bryn appears to be looking over to the spoil-heap, and the diggers, tipping another load of soil.

Ness of Brodgar Bell 2

This heap will have to go sometime, as geophysics show that there are more structures underneath it – and what extra-ordinary things, will be found there?

Nearby, an information board with an image by Cecily Webster, of how the Neolithic people may have used the pigments which have been found, some still in their little pots….

Ness of Brodgar Bell 3

We then carried on along the edge of the site, heading round the corner to Trench T, and, as part of a newly built wall, I spotted, not an ancient carving, but someone having a go at reproducing some of the styles which have been found….

Ness of Brodgar Bell 4

Round the corner, the diggers had turned piratical, downing tools and heading off for lunch at ‘The Digger’s Rest’ – we could see them, across the site, and across some crackin’ stonework

Ness of Brodgar Bell 7

And on, to Trench T which is often referred to as ‘enigmatic’ – I just like the shapes produced here, by the processes involved in trying to solve the enigmas

Heading back to the main site, we found two of the ladies from the finds hut – Chris, and Mississippi ‘Bones’ Kate, having a sit-down in their nest in the tyres – the tyres on a dig site serve many purposes……………

Ness of Brodgar Bell 10

The site is open every day, with guided tours available, all FREE and no need to pre-book. There will also be two Open Days ( with capital letters)  on Sunday 21st July and Sunday 18th August, from 11am to 4 pm. This also includes all kinds of good things, in the Stenness Community Hall, just along the main road.

Ness of Brodgar open days Bell

After a morning at the Ness, we went to The Orkney Brewery in Quoyloo, Sandwick, for lunch………..

Orkney brewery Bell

………….where tour guide Andy told us that, this coming Autumn, the Brewery intends to launch  a new beer linked to the Ness, called………’Brodgar Rye’ – geddit?  Brodgar Rye – Brodgar Eye, which is an exceptional carving, found at the Ness a few years ago

Brodgar Eye stone B Bell

Brodgar eye

Watch out for it – the beer, that is!

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6 replies »

  1. Thanks to the folk at the Highland Park distillery https://www.just-drinks.com/news/edringtons-highland-park-ness-of-brodgars-legacy-single-malt-scotch-whisky-product-launch_id128650.aspx , it will then, in theory, be possible to have a Brodgar beer, with a Ness of Brodgar whisky chaser. I say ‘in theory’ because the whisky is a limited edition, which, hopefully, will be snapped up, and then …it will be gone.
    Maybe the Orkney Wine Company will produce a wine – maybe called ‘Brodgar Elder’s Elderflower Wine’. Geddit?
    And what about a Brodgar gin, and a Brodgar vinegar – both flavoured with aromatics which grow, and may have grown, near the site, back then? ‘Brodgar Meadowsweet Gin’ – or Vinegar. Hmmmmmm – endless possibilities of good things from the Ness, in many different ways!

    • Bernie, Is Bryn your sheep-dug? If our pup was there he’d be helping the diggers, LOL. These digs are truly fascinating places, nice pics and I’ll bet that you have a camera full of them?

  2. No – Bryn is the dog of the Card family – Nick Card being the Director of the dig at the Ness, and Bryn’s human. He’s a lovely dog – typical collie – I first met him when he was a youngster, jumping up to say hello, behind a wall – Bryn, that is, not me!
    He’s a good boy, and doesn‘t ‘help’ with the digging – unlike friend Hannah’s family terrier, who has wrecked her garden!

    We do, indeed, have a computer full of pictures. I try to remember to clear the camera each time, or I get a load of duplicates transferring to the ‘pooter, which just confuses me.
    Looking through them, to find the pic of the Brodgar Eye, from a couple of years back https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/04/23/stromness-museums-new-exhibitions-makers-then-and-now/ , was an interesting trip down memory lane. We have such a mixture – and so many memories.
    I can re-live holidays, looking at the pics or reading the articles in TON.

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