Cutter’s Tooer Stronsay

PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM THE SURVEY CARRIED OUT RECENTLY AT GRICENESS, STRONSAY and published in The Stronsay Limpet. Republished here with their kind permission.

a grassy mound with some stone sticking out of it

The site, which is also recorded as Cutter’s Tuo, consists of a rounded, grassy mound with numerous stones protruding from the surface. It is visible as a distinctive monument on the headland at Griceness. From a distance the mound appears to sit upon a platform. On closer inspection, large horizontally set stones are visible at several points around the perimeter, forming an outer kerb.

The resistivity data show the mound to be of very high resistance indicating that it is very stony with possible voids. No structure is immediately visible within the mound, although a ring of slightly higher resistance (black) circling the mound corresponds to the stones visible around the edge of the platform.

A ring of low resistance could be a surrounding ditch but is more likely to result from the presence of a soily platform. The magnetometer data show a magnetic anomaly around the centre of the mound.

A curvilinear anomaly is also clearly visible on the east of the mound. This could represent enhanced material which has accumulated within or been added to the inside of the outer kerb of stones. The addition of such material is likely to have occurred when a Neolithic tomb was reused and remodelled in the Bronze Age, with the possible insertion of a cist.

The enhanced material possibly derives from the incorporation of cremation or cremation pyre material. Anomalies to the south of the mound could be more recent kelp pits, which were observed in the area. There are kelp-drying dykes to the north of the site.

Around 300 metres to the east a second site was surveyed. This low earthwork tops a natural rise in the field.

The eastern section was in the form of a round enclosure, evident in the resistivity data. Higher responses in the magnetometer data suggest it could represent a prehistoric occupation site.

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