MHG11983 - The Ord North Chambered Cairn


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • CHAMBERED CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • CREMATION (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 1501 BC) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

Full Description

NC50NE 16 5733 0560.
Chambered Cairns (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1970)

The Ord, North. Formerly thought to be a short, horned cairn (Henshall 1963), this well preserved chambered tomb, on excavation by Corcoran in 1967 proved to be circular though flattened on SE side. 82ft diameter, edged by dry-walling and upright stones. Outside this level stone platform extends for 10-20ft. The entrance is on SE, through a low, narrow passage 14ft long. The chamber and ante-chamber are built of orthostats linked by dry-walling, with corbelled roofs 8-10ft high which have partly collapsed. After excavation chamber was covered with polythene and cairn material was replaced.
A S Henshall 1963; 1972; J Corcoran 1967; Current Archaeol 1972; Visited by OS (W D J) 20 June 1963. <1>-<5>

The site was Scheduled in 1935

Well preserved chambered cairn as described by Henshall and Corcoran.
Resurveyed at 1:10 000. Visited by OS (N K B) 21 July 1976.

Surveyed at 1/2500. Visited by OS (J B) 16 March 1979.

Account of Corcoran's excavation and analysis of the finds with uncalibrated C 14 dates (2670 ±60 bc (GU-1168), 2715 ±70 bc (GU-1169), 2560+100 bc (GU-1172) and 2530 ± 60 bc (GU-1173)). Mention is made of an intrusive Early Bronze Age cremation burial associated with a Food Vessel, also C 14 dated (1485 + 65 bc (GU-1167)). <6>

Visible on AP Highland Council 2004 Lairg No 9 - clearly shows that cairn is circular with scatter beyond - HAW 8/2004 <7>-<9>

Site management plan for this area agreed in 2008. <10>

Noted during topographic survey. <11>

Photographs of lintels and the entrance to the chambered cairn were forwarded to the HER by D Scott in November 2010. <12>

Douglas Scott posted further photographs on the Highland HER Facebook page in May 2011, including one showing the rising sun shining into the passage on 8 November 2009. <13>

A radiocarbon date for the cremated human bone from the burial deposit on/among the collapsed Neolithic chamber roof was obtained and published in 2005 as part of the National Museums Scotland Radiocarbon dating programme. This indicated an Early Bronze Age date of 1740-1600 BC calibrated to 1 sigma. <14>

The excavation assemblage is listed in the NMS catalogue under Acc. Nos. 1995.99.1- 1995.99.45. This comprises various pottery sherds, flint blades and flakes (also a flakes of quartz and one of pitchstone), lumps of quartz and pumice, a incised bone mount, pebbles, hazelnut shells, fragments of burnt wood, pieces of burnt bone, a cockle shell, a possible stone loom weight, leaf shaped stone and fragments of clay pipes. <15>

See link below to Scottish Radiocarbon Database for radiocarbon dates.

Sources/Archives (19)



Grid reference Centred NC 5733 0560 (40m by 42m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC50NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish LAIRG

Finds (8)

  • SHERD (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)
  • FLAKE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)
  • BLADE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)
  • CREMATION (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • MOUNT (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • HAZEL NUT (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (5)

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