MHG1267 - Chambered Cairn, Loedebest West


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

About 1/4 mile W of Leodebest, on N side of road and some 20ft back from it are three upright stones about 2ft high, set parallel, face to face, 2ft 2ins and 2ft 8ins apart respectively. In rear of the most north-easterly is another large stone, set at right angles and measuring some 3ft in breadth. A slight elevation of ground may indicate site of a cairn, near centre of which these stones are set.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

Orkney-Cromarty, round. The cairn has been almost entirely removed, but the edge can still be discerned, the diameter being 40ft. In the centre remain five rather small slabs on end, about 2ft high with pointed tops, indicating the position of the chamber. Its plan is difficult to interpret, but has evidently been divided by transverse slabs. There is no trace of the entrance passage.
A S Henshall 1963, visited 1955.

Situated at ND 1338 3229, the remains of this chambered cairn are as described by the previous authorities. The cairn is approximately 0.4m high.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 17 June 1960.

(ND 1338 3229) Chambered Cairn (NR) OS 6" map, (1962)

No change to previous reports. Visited by OS (JM) 26 August 1982.

The cairn is in rough grazing in an extensive area of flat moorland, on a terrace above the Dunbeath Water at about 110m OD, 600m WNW of ND13SW 8. The road up the strath passes immediately to the SW of the site. The cairn has been reduced to a low grass-covered mound no more than 0.6m high. The edge is fairly clear except on W side and on SW which since 1955 has been cut by the road ditch. The diameter of the cairn has been between 12 and 13m. A group of five close-set orthostats projects somewhat SE of the centre of the cairn. Four are set transversely to a NE-SW axis. NE slab measures 0.4m long at ground level expanding to 0.55m, and 0.7m high. A pair of slabs set 0.4m apart are 0.65 and 0.7m long. The SE slab is 0.5m high but the other is broken and barely projects. The SW slab is 0.6m long by 0.6m high. The slabs on the SE side of the setting are 0.8 and 0.65m apart. With the one exception the orthostats appear to be intact, the first and last described having upper edges slanting steeply down to the SE. As there is little cain material at their bases it is evident that the structure was always low. The fifth slab, firmly set parallel with the axis, also appears to be intact. It is 0.85m long and 0.4m high. The slabs vary between 0.15 and 0.3m thick. The orthostats are puzzling but they suggest remains of a chamber with paired transverse slabs but of unusually small proportions, Of so it mst be assumed that the last slab described has been reset: in appearance and size it resembles the NE slab but set on its long side.
Visited 3 September 1986.J L Davidson and A S Henshall 1991.

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred ND 1338 3229 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND13SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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