Papa Stour History & Community Group

Prehistoric Sites

Extensive traces of prehistoric man can be found throughout the Isle, the vast majority of sites remaining undisturbed.

Early settlers of around 3000 B.C. built simple stone shelters – oval or round, the remains of which can now be seen as rubble walls three to four metres thick although in a tumbledown condition. Some of the shelters are divided into cells, while others have a porch at the entrance for extra protection from the elements. The area at the head of Cullivoe has been identified as one such settlement.

Heel-shaped chambered cairns, with a passage leading into a central burial chamber, are also to be found on the isle and date from the Neolithic period. The Megalithic Portal has more information on the type of Cairn structure you can find on Papa Stour. 

The Middle Iron Age is represented by Muckle and Little Heogan at East Biggins and there is a fine Bronze Age burnt mound at Dutch Loch near Hamnavoe.

The websites below contain useful information about the other prehistoric structures found across the island and the periods they were built.