MHG1100 - Chambered Cairn, Langwell House


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Type and Period (1)

  • CHAMBERED CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

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Full Description

Situated about 1/4 mile SW of Langwell House, in the wood and some 40 yds S of avenue, is a large cairn. It measures some 60ft diameter and 5ft in height. A number of small trees are growing over it, and there is no sign of its having been excavated.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

ND 1101 2244. A large cairn measuring 19.6m N-S by 14.5m transversely and 1.1m high. In W segment is a large upright stone. No trace of a cist or chamber was noted. A few metres W of cairn is a crescent-shaped scatter of stones which may have formed part of the cairn, but it has been so mutilated by forestry operations that its character is obscure. The area in which the cairn lies has now been cleared of trees.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 4 July 1960.

(ND 1101 2244) Cairn (NR) OS 6" map, (1964)

The SW segment has been mutilated by a track, exposing in the centre the tops of two upright slabs, which could form part of a chamber.
Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (RL) 29 February 1968.

No change, but uncertainly chambered. Visited by OS (JM) 23 November 1982.

This chambered cairn is situated at 78m OD, near the edge of a terrace which along SW side drops precipitously to the Langwell water. Trees have been replanted around the cairn and only the centre is now clear though covered with grass and heather. The edge can be traced on E and SW sides indicating a cairn roughly 21m diameter, but elsewhere the edge is obscured. The cairn is mostly 1.5m high measured from the E. The ground drops on S and W sides, and though severely robbed as far as the outside of the chamber on SW, a steep rim of cairn material remains. A track runs close to SW side of cairn. The entrance has evidently been from E. A flat slab, 1.4m long, 0.43m wide and 0.2m thick is probably a displaced passage lintel. The chamber is defined by a prominent back-slab and by five other orthostats which are just visible in rubble. The portal stones are 0.7m apart. N slab measures 0.32m long by 0.15m thick; S slab measures 0.6m long by 0.25m thick, and a hollow in the cairn shows it to be over 0.4m high. An inner portal stone 0.5m long by 0.2m thick is set 0.9m W of N portal stone, marking the entry between the ante-chamber and main chamber. The lattter is 3.1m long by 3.2m wide. On N side is a slab 0.75m long by 0.25m thick, and from its E end walling runs eastwards for 1m. On S side is a slab 0.5m long by 0.25m thick, exposed on its S side for a height of 0.5m. Only this slab and back-slab have intact upper edges. The back-slab is 1.3m long by 0.45m thick, and on W side it is exposed for a height of 0.75m.
Visited 2 September 1986.J L Davidson and A S Henshall 1991.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 1100 2244 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND12SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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