MHG1163 - Cairnfield, Dorus Ailein


A possible cairnfield comprising approximately 15 small stone mounds. Many of the mounds may be natural.

Type and Period (1)

  • CAIRNFIELD (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A cairnfield of unknown period, covering an area about 500 by 200m on a slope above the cliff edge at Dorus Ailein, and consisting of about fifteen roughly circular, grass-grown, small stone mounds, the largest 10 by 8m and the greatest height 1.5m, the average being 0.5m.
This is one of several sites that produced stony mounds of indeterminate character with no visible features to assist in their identification. <1><2>

A number of stony mounds on steep, grassy and bracken overgrown slope. Some may be natural, but others are undoubtedly stone clearance heaps, probably from early-modern land-use.
Visited by OS (J M) 13 October 1982.

This record was formerly attributed to the Neolithic period. However, in the absence of the original record card which has gone astray, it is not known on what basis. In <2> above the site is described as "Period Unknown". The limits of the site cannot be accurately determined from the above descriptions. <3>

A walkover survey in 2011 did not find 15 clearance heaps and these appear for the most part to be natural hummocks in the landscape. However there is an area that has been cleared for agriculture where 4 clearance heaps were noted along the eastern edge. These were recorded but appear post-medieval. These cairns have been assigned a new record number MHG55057 to distinguish them from the remainder of the uncertain mounds described in this record. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred ND 18342 31537 (365m by 423m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND13SE
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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