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More Archæology on the Brough of Birsay

Later Norse Houses with 12th century church in background:-

Later Norse Houses, Brough of Birsay

12th century church. (See Pictish stone to left):-

12th Century Church, Brough of Birsay,

Edge of 12th century church complex:-

Edge of 12th Century Church Complex

12th century church remains:-

Brough of Birsay, 12th Century Church Remains

12th century church information board:-

12th Centrury Church Information Board

Sunken structure, possibly another Norse house:-

Sunken Structure, Brough of Birsay

North edge of archæological site, Brough of Birsay:-

Remains, Brough of Birsay

Archæology on the Brough of Birsay

The Brough of Birsay is an island just off the north-east coast of mainland Orkney. I blogged here about the causeway you have to cross to access the island.

It is also home to some archæological remains (as well as a Stevenson lighthouse which we didn’t visit.) The weather was fine when we walked across the causeway to the island but while we were there it started to rain and the wind was so strong the rain was coming in horizontally, so discretion prevailed over perseverance. Even so by the time we got back to the car we were thoroughly drookit.

There was some nice geology just where the path from the causeway meets the brough proper.

Rocks, Brough of Birsay, Orkney

The archæology on the brough comes from three distinct eras. First there was some Pictish occupancy. However this Pictish symbol stone is a replica, unfortunately. (Though there was such a stone found on the brough.)

Pictish Symbol Stone, Brough of Birsay

There is a better photograph of the symbol stone on Historic Scotland’s Birsay webpage if you click through the pictures.

As the information board says there was later Norse – in two phases – and ecclesiastical building on the island.

Brough of Birsay Information Board

Remains of Norse houses:-

Remains of Norse Houses, Brough of Birsay

A later Norse house:-

Norse House, Brough of Birsay

Another later Norse house:-

Later Norse House, Brough of Birsay

Birsay may have been the home of Thorfinn the Mighty.

Brough of Birsay, Norse Houses, Information Board

Broch of Gurness, Orkney (ii)

The broch‘s entrance:-

Broch of Gurness, Entrance

Entrance information board:-

Broch of Gurness Entrance Information Board

Interior from entrance:-

Broch of Gurness, Interior from Entrance

Hearth at centre of broch:-

Broch of Gurness, Hearth

Internal compartment with stone trough:-

Broch of Gurness, Compartment

Interior wall:-

Interior Wall, Broch of Gurness, Orkney

Interior chamber:-

Interior Chamber, Broch of Gurness

Broch of Gurness, Orkney (i)

The Broch of Gurness, by the shores of Eynhallow Sound, near the village of Evie, Orkney, is quite remote, up a narrow winding road leading off the A 966. It is quite well preserved though and is in the care of Historic Scotland.

The day we were there it was driving rain. The attendant said he was on the point of giving up for the day although it was not long after lunchtime. Even so, as we were leaving another car rolled up to the car park. We had the broch to ourselves while we were there though.

Broch from site entrance:-

Broch of Gurness from Site Entrance

The first building you meet just inside the boundary, though, is called the Shamrock due to its shape. It’s the remains of a Pictish farm dating from much later than the broch and was moved to allow better exploration of the broch itself.

Shamrock Building, Broch of Gurness, Orkney

Shamrock Building Information Board

Broch of Gurness from west, showing outer rampart wall:-

Broch of Gurness, Showing Outer Rampart Wall

Broch of Gurness from south, Eynhallow Sound in background and Isle of Rousay somewhere in the mists beyond:-

Broch of Gurness, Eynhallow Sound

Broch of Gurness, plus part of rampart wall, Eynhallow Sound behind.

Broch of Gurness, Part of Rampart Wall

Broch of Gurness from southeast:-

Broch of Gurness from Southeast

Broch of Gurness, rampart wall and ditch:-

Broch of Gurness, Rampart Wall and Ditch

Broch of Gurness information board:-

Broch of Gurness Information Board

Fortress Island, IJmuiden

On the way out from IJmuiden as well as the windsurfers (see previous posts) we passed a fortified island, which is named Fortress Island.

I assume the fortifications were built by the Germans during World War 2 as part of their Atlantic Wall.

Fortress Island, IJmuiden, The Netherlands

Industrial IJmuiden in the background:-

Fortress Island, IJmuiden, The Netherlands From the South

A bit further on. I can’t decide if the rectangular array is a set of solar panels. I think it must be, so obviously a much later addition:-

More of Fortress Island, IJmuiden, The Netherlands

Are the serrated things in this view tank traps?

Fortress Island, IJmuiden, The Netherlands

Windsurfers at IJmuiden, The Netherlands

We travelled back from The Netherlands last spring via IJmuiden.

It’s not as neat and tidy a place as Hook of Holland as it’s more industrial, witness this photo taken from beyond the end of the long breakwater leading out from the port.

IJmuiden, The Netherlands From the Sea

On the way out we did spot a crowd of windsurfers, though, plying their hobby from the spit of sand at the edge of the breakwater:-

Windsurfers IJmuiden, The Netherlands

IJmuiden Windsurfers, The Netherlands

I even took two videos:-

Windsurfers at IJmuiden, The Netherlands

Windsurfers and Ship, IJmuiden, The Netherlands

Some Buildings in Groningen +

More from our trip to The Netherlands last year.

Canalside (former?) warehouse. Roof under repair:-

Dutch Canalside Building Under Roof Replacement

Closer view. Note circular company information:-

Canalside Building, Groningen

Old building. Looks like 1641!

Old Canalside Building, Groningen

Modern Fountain:-

Fountain, Groningen, The Netherlands,

Hanging garden. Wisteria:-

Wisteria Drapery, Groningen, The Netherlands,

Boat in a courtyard:-

Boat in a Courtyard, Groningen

In a Dutch town you’re never far from a load of bikes:-

Bicycles, Groningen

The “It Ketting” Sports Field

Home of VV Surhuisterveen which plays in the “Fourth Sunday” of the KNVB district Noord after promotion from the fifth amateur level in 2015.

I couldn’t see an easy way to get close to the ground so had to photograph it from a distance. It looks a tidy wee ground.

Football Ground, Surhuisterveen

From the link it looks like VV Surhuisterveen play in Sons colours!

For previous posts about Surhuisterveen see here and the links within.

Sneek (ii)

Dutch towns have interesting architectural features. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a building is Art Deco or not. Others are distinctively Dutch/Low Countries as on the right here:-

Buildings in Sneek, The Netherlands

The doorway to the middle building above has Art Deco features to it. Certainly there’s “rule of three” in the windows above it and the door itself has a very 30s feel. The ironwork on the gates is good too:-

Art Deco Doorway, Sneek, The Netherlands,

The brickwork on the canalside house below is very distinctive and there’s more than a hint of Deco to the double doors in the centre. Also a Charles Rennie Mackintosh feel to all the doors:-

Decorative Brickwork, Sneek, The Netherlands

And is this Deco or merely Dutch style?:-

Deco Style? Sneek, The Netherlands

Note the squares in the window highlights. And there’s an Art Nouveau touch to the decoration just above the windows but below the brick arches:-

Deco Detail, Sneek, The Netherlands

The Waterpoort, Sneek

The Waterpoort is the old entrance to Sneek town centre by canal. I suppose it functioned as a sort of mediaeval toll gate as well as the entrance to the town.

Canal with Waterpoort in distance:-

Canal and Waterpoort, Sneek

Bridge and Waterpoort behind:-

Bridge and Waterpoort, Sneek

Waterpoort from canal basin:-

waterpoort

View from Waterpoort:-

View from Waterpoort, Sneek

Waterpoort clock from town side:-

Waterpoort Clock, Sneek

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