is another parish where there is a large lake, 24 miles in circuit.
There, on a little hill near to the
lake, in a tomb, was found the bones of a man, which indeed were
connected together, in length fourteen feet as the author affirmed,
and money was found under the head of the dead man; and indeed I
viewed the tomb.**
There at the lake are stones high
and broad, in height equal to a spear, and in an equal circle of
half a mile***.
In the year 1527 war arose between
the Caithness men and the Orcadians****.
The Caithness-men, with all splendid
show, invaded Orkney, with spears, arrows, darts, and sounding trumpets.
But the men of Pomona were, whilst these things were going on, making
ready to oppose them, and meeting at a place on a mountain in that
parish near Bexwell [Bigswell], the armies joined battle.
All the Caithness men were scattered
in flight and slain, so that indeed not one remained.
The grave of the Earl until now remains
in the place; he was the ancestor of the Earl now living. The Orcadians,
elated with joy at their victory, returned to the city with Jacob
Sinclair, their leader, of whom it has been previously mentioned.
The place where the battle was fought
is called Symmerdale.
* - It was, and still is, common for Scottish
visitors to Orkney to equate Stenness with their nearest familiar
Scottish name - in this case Stenhouse.
** - Probably Maeshowe. These giant remains are echosed in reports circulating at the time of the nineteenth century excavation.
*** - Ring of Brodgar.
**** - This section relates to the Battle
of Summerdale in 1529.