History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The earth-house at Rennibister dates to about 400 BC. It is small compared to the very large passages on the mainland, particularly in Angus and Perthshire. The passage is about 22 feet long, with a chamber at the end of the passage. This chamber is supported by two upright pillars and has several recesses, or alcoves, built into the walls.
When the earth-house was excavated in 1926 the scattered remains of human bones were found on the chamber floor. When the bones were examined they proved to belong to 6 adults and 12 children, but there is no clear evidence of how they died or why their bones were interred here. Rennibister is the only earth-house on Orkney with burials, and it seems possible that they were put here much later than the construction of the passage.
There are absolutely no facilities at Rennibister; just an access hatch in the middle of the farmyard. It is pretty much essential to bring a torch to see underground, but once you get past those challenges it is actually quite an interesting site, and will certainly appeal to families with children who like secret hiding places (I speak from experience!)
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Rennibister Earth-House
Address: Finstown, Mainland, Orkney, Orkney, Scotland
Attraction Type: Prehistoric Site
Location: On the A965, western Mainland, situated behind a farmhouse
Website: Rennibister Earth-House
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Find other attractions tagged with:
Iron Age (Architecture) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn - 0.8 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn - 2 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Grain Earth-House - 2.8 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Bishop's Palace, Kirkwall - 3.4 miles (Historic Building)
Earl's Palace, Kirkwall - 3.4 miles (Historic Building)
The Orkney Museum - 3.4 miles (Museum)
St Magnus Cathedral - 3.4 miles (Cathedral)
Cottascarth and Rendall Moss RSPB - 3.7 miles (Countryside)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Rennibister Earth-House:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Rennibister Earth-House. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.