Scheduled Monument

Lamb Holm,settlement 450m WSW of Italian ChapelSM6246

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: house; settlement (if not assigned to any more specific type)
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
HY 48408 510
348408, 1000510


The monument consists of the remains of a prehistoric settlement which is beginning to appear in an eroding coastal section on the shore of St Mary's Bay.

Traces of walling, including part of the outer face of the wall of an oval house and what may be one jamb of its dooorway, lie immediately above the high-water mark, extending for about 40m. The house wall stands to nine courses of drystone masonry, just under 1m high, and extends for over 6m. The house beyond appears to survive intact at present.

On the visual evidence, it is not possible to ascribe a date to the house, which could equally well be Neolithic (like Skara Brae) or Iron Age (like houses around brochs, for example Gurness). It is unlikely to be Norse or later.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular, oriented parallel to the shore, and measures 80m NNE-SSW by 45m, to include all of the visible remains and an area around them in which it is likely further archaeological deposits and structures survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a recently-discovered settlement site of prehistoric date which appears to have suffered little from marine erosion, and which has walling surviving to an unusually good degree. Whatever the exact date of the monument, it has a high potential for providing information about past architecture, settlement structure and domestic economy. The monument is proposed for scheduling because of its quality and also to emphasise the need for positive action, either through management of erosion or through excavation, to ensure that its potential is not lost.



RCAHMS records the monument as HY40SE 34.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 18/10/2021 18:31