MHG11081 - Cairn & Steatite Lamp, Dalcharn


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CAIRN (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC82NE 13 8702 2690.
Cairn (NR) OS 6"map, (1962)

The remains of a cairn, now a mixture of turf and loose stones, situated on top of a ridge and at side of railway fence. It is considerably mutilated, probably due to construction of the railway, but it probably measured about 8m diameter and its maximum height is now 1m. There are excavations in the top. It is locally known as a 'Pictish Tower' but there is no evidence to support this, and the neighbouring name, Dalcharn, would appear to confirm its classification. Visited by OS (E G C) 24 May 1961

Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R L) 21 Feburary 1968

Situated on a low knoll on the rim of the river flood plain is an amorphous semi-circular arc of turf-covered stones, onto which has been added stones cleared from the adjacent fields. The arc is approximately 12.0m-13.0m across and 0.9m maximum height, abutting onto the edge of the railway cutting through the knoll. No kerb or cist can be seen. A late turf-covered field wall extends from its E side. Present classification of this mound is difficult to establish as it could be stone clearance associated with a minor deserted township and narrow rig nearby but the local tradition is still strong in its being an antiquity.
Revised at 1/10,000. Visited by OS (J B) 14 January 1977

A steatite lamp 'found in a Pictish Cairn at Dalcharre (? Dalcharn) in Kildonan Strath' is in Dunrobin Museum (Acc No 1853.1)
Info from A S Henshall (catalogue of Dunrobin museum) to OS

This cairn is situated on a low ridge at the edge of the flood plain of the River Helmsdale. It has been severely mutilated and the W side has been cut by the railway line leaving a semi-circular mound 12m across and 1m in height. A field bank runs off to the E.
(KILD91 210)
Visited by RCAHMS (DCC) 2 May 1991.

The steatite lamp has been loaned from Dunrobin Castle Museum to Timespan Museum. It is on display, and it has also been 3D scanned. See link below to 3D model. <1>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 8701 2690 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC82NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish KILDONAN

Finds (1)

  • LAMP (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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