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Rennibister Earth House, Kirkwall

4.2
#14 of 15 in Historic Sites in Mainland
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Rennibister Earth House is located on the Mainland of Orkney, in Scotland. It is located by the southeastern shore of the Bay o' Firth, in a farm yard and is accessed by a hatch in the roof of the earth house and by a ladder. Its location is more picturesque than that of its counterpart, Grain Earth House.

The souterrain was discovered when a threshing machine caused the roof to collapse on 12 November 1926 and seems to date from c. 1000 BC. Access was originally by a passage that was low, with a small drop into the chamber. The chamber itself has 4 pillars supporting the roof, and 5 alcoves in the walls. Unusually, the chamber had the remains of 6 adults and 12 children.

The site is currently in the care of Historic Environment Scotland as a scheduled monument.
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Rennibister Earth House reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
4 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This little house shows very little change from SCara Brae , 3000years earlier, astounding and really worth visiting. 
    This little house shows very little change from SCara Brae , 3000years earlier, astounding and really worth visiting.  more »
  • Reminded me of the fougous where we live in Cornwall. Modern access down a short ladder to gather inside to listen to Caz from Orkney Archeology explain all! 
    Reminded me of the fougous where we live in Cornwall. Modern access down a short ladder to gather inside to listen to Caz from Orkney Archeology explain all!  more »
Google
  • A torch is available on site if you've forgotten your own! Worth the hike up the hill and the crawl inside. Impressive construction!
  • Really interesting small historic site. Access via farm track, small car park provided from which you walk to the farmyard (2 minutes). Not signed from road, but once on track signs are provided to direct you. The Earth House is accessed via a hatch, which is left open for entry. Ironwork can be slippy so take care when descending. Chamber will accommodate four or five people maximum at any one time. Well worth a visit.

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