King Orry’s Grave

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Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2019

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On your own

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There are actually two chambered cairns here on either side of the road. Both are about 5000 years old, and are smaller versions of “Cashtal yn Ard.”:

King Orry is an almost legendary character revered by the Manx as their greatest king and founder of Mann. This mythical figure is based on King Godred Crovan, a Viking warrior who created the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles upon his arrival on the Island in 1079. The two monuments were named after him sometime in the early C19th and there is no connection between the historical Godred Crovan and either of the monuments.

The larger cairn stands above the road on a raised bank of earth surrounded by edge stones. The entrance was between two boulders at the centre of an arc of standing stones which formed the forecourt to the tomb.

There were at least three chambers beyond the entrance which were roofed with stone slabs and then covered over with earth and stones to form the cairn. The chambers would have been used for burials although when excavated few remains were found.

The tomb was abandoned during the Neolithic period and the blocks above the entrance have collapsed into the forecourt. Material has been robbed out for use as building stone.

The second cairn is across the road behind a small cottage and reached down a narrow footpath. It has yet to be excavated.

The tall standing stone, along with a few smaller stones, is all that remains of the arc of stones forming the forecourt. Beyond, the tomb consists of three chamber which originally would have been enclosed within a cairn of stones and earth. The site has not been excavated.

The chamber furthest from the tall stone is the oldest and was reached through a narrow opening between two stones.

The two cairns are on either side of Ballaragh Road in Minorca, the settlement above Old Laxey. They are signed off the main A2 Douglas to Ramsey Road. There is on road parking by the cairns. The nearest post code is IM4 7DU and the grid reference is
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