Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bressay Burnt Mound Project

Bronze Age Bressay is a community project that successfully excavated and rebuilt an eroding archaeological site. The Burnt Mound of Cruester, a prehistoric burnt mound with stone structures buried within it, was dismantled and moved to a safe location near the island's Heritage Centre. It now forms the focus of a permanent exhibition. A replica of the mound’s stone tank, passageway and hearth cell was also built at the centre.

The site had been eroding for many years, and parts of it had already been lost. The local community wanted to save what remained, and make it accessible to the public. This is a novel approach to dealing with a severe problem in Scotland: the loss of hundreds of archaeological sites due to coastal erosion.  The project started at the beginning of June 2008 and the reconstruction and replica were completed by August of that year. The new site was officially launched by Tavish Scott, MSP on 23rd August 2008. The site is adjacent to the Bressay Heritage Centre which is at the car park for the Bressay Ferry terminal. It is only about 50 metres from the ferry.

The number labels are still visible on each of the stones.

Also at the Heritage centre is this anchor that was used as part of the Lerwick coastal defences during WWI.

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