MHG1266 - Chambered Cairn, Carn Liath


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Cairn Liath (NAT) (sic - mis-spelled), Horned Cairn (NR) OS 6" map, (1962)

Some 300 yds E by S of the shepherd's house at Leodebest are the remains of a horned long cairn known as "Carn Liath". The cairn is much dilapidated and the chamber ruined, but there is no evidence of its having been excavated. Oriented WSW-ENE, it rises in elevation and expands in width in the latter direction. At the WSW extremity it is 28ft in breadth and of trifling elevation, while at the opposite end it measures about 40ft in breadth and 5ft in height. The extreme length, including the horns, is 165ft. The apparent width between the ends of the horns at the WSW is 40ft, and at the ENE, 60ft. In the centre of the concavity at the ENE end stand two slabs about 3ft 10ins in height, 1ft 4ins apart, which probably mark the outer end of the entrance passage. No part of the chamber is at present recognisable.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

Carn Liath: Orkney-Cromarty, long, horned, with Camster-type chamber. The cairn has been much ruined and robbed, and is now partly turf-covered. The total length is about 190ft with the long axis running E-W. The body of the cairn expands from a width of about 37ft at the W end to about 60ft at the E end, which rises to a height of about 5ft. At the W end there are horns projecting for about 10ft. There have been horns at the E end too, and the N side of the N horn can still be traced, but the forecourt between the horns is now choked with debris, so that the plan of the E end of the cairn cannot be traced. Near the centre of the cairn at the E end, five stones set almost parallel to each other and protruding through the debris, appear to represent the transverse divisional slabs of a chamber aligned along the main axis of the cairn and presumably entered from the E. Along the body of the cairn are a number of large slabs set on their sides or ends which seem to be in situ; though appearances can be deceptive as the cairn itself is much disturbed and is composed of similar slabs. However, there are indications of at least three lateral chambers or cists in the length of the cairn.
A S Henshall 1963, visited 1955.

As described above. Visited by OS (W D J) 27 June 1960.

No change. Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (RL) 12 3 1968.

No change. Visited by OS (J M) 26 August 1982.

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 1403 3205 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND13SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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