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“A mystery to stay with you”
Review of Dwarfie Stane

Dwarfie Stane
Ranked #6 of 9 things to do in Hoy
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Attraction details
Owner description: A 5,000-year-old monument that's thought to be Britain's only rock-cut tomb.
Forres, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“A mystery to stay with you”
Reviewed September 12, 2012

The dwarfie stone is truly in the middle of nowhere. Don't drive by -stop and walk up the well maintained wooden walkway. Its a very unusual place and got the family discussing all sorts of possibilities. A place you keep looking over your shoulder for elves and dragons!

Visited September 2012
2 Thank shearwater58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Gillingham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Worth stopping off for...”
Reviewed August 21, 2012

You need a guide book or web link to tell you the full story but the 'Stane' is well signposted along the road to Rockwick, which you will take if visiting the Old Man of Hoy or the pleasant beach at this point. There is a convenient parking area to the side of the road and a tidy boardwalk leads you a few hundred metres across the heath and up the foothills to the stone.

It is a simple device in this remote valley that must have taken many hours of back-breaking effort to carve a sizeable recess out of solid sandstone. Crawl in and contemplate what might have been in people's minds when they did this work.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Nigel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“An overlooked, archaeological treasure”
Reviewed May 26, 2012

On your way to Rackwick, to visit the Old Man of Hoy, why not stop and take a look at this wonderful, but often overlooked, archaeological treasure. One of the older monuments on Orkney, the Dwarfie Stane is a massive block of hollowed-out red sandstone (28 feet or 8.5 metres) long, and is - possibly - Britain’s only example of a rock-cut tomb. Whether it is or no, it is certainly an impressive object. One can only marvel at the patience and effort that went into hewing out the hard sandstone to make the chambers inside - and with nothing other than stone and antler tools.

A half hour should be enough to walk the short distance from the road and get a feel for the place. One needn't stay two nights, which ex-spy and amateur archaeologist William Mounsey apparently did in 1850 (leaving some Persian graffiti which translates as "I have sat for two nights and have found patience").

One can see how it earned its name, though a local legend has it that a giant and his wife (who, the legend says, made the Stane) were imprisoned in it by a third, covetous giant, who wanted to make himself Master of Hoy. All I can say is that it must have quite a cosy residence for giants!

Visited August 2011
4 Thank Schmeissfliege
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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