MHG13024 - Chambered Cairn - Allt Sgiathaig


A chambered Cairn at Allt Sgiathaig.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

A chambered Cairn at Allt Sgiathaig.

Allt Sgiathaig: The cairn is placed on a knoll at about 500' OD on a steep moorland hillside. It has diameter of 35' and height of c. 4'. Two slabs on its N edge have the appearance of being kerb stones, while cairn seems to have spread to NE and SW beyond its original limits. NW side has been severely robbed and all traces of passage, which apparently entered chamber from this side, have probably been destroyed.
The chamber is partly ruined and filled with large slabs and debris. Two upright slabs on W side, one slightly displaced forwards, are exposed to a height of nearly 3' and probably represent portal stones between passage and chamber. Two verticial but lower stones and two stretches of walling on E side indicate a chamber c. 7' long by c. 5' wide. A S Henshall 1963. <1>

(NC 2341 2552) Chambered Cairn (NR) OS 6"map, (1967)

Road improvements have caused ground to be cut away to very edge of cairn on NW side. It now seems more likely that entrance to chamber was on SE side, giving tomb a normal orientation. The edge of a flat stone revealed 5'6" from the chamber on this side might well be a lintel of the passage.
A S Henshall 1972, revisited 8 October 1963. <2>

A ruinous chambered cairn recently slightly truncated on W by roadworks. It is generally as planned by Henshall (1963) but none of the stones can be considered kerb stones and the flat stone 5'6" from chamber in SE has been shown by a recent 'dig' to be loose in the debris and there is nothing to indicate the position of the entrance. Visited by OS (J M) 15 August 1974.

No change. Visited by OS (N K B) 6 June 1980.

Visited by the Assynt's Hidden Lives project in December 2009. An uneven, sub-triangular grass covered cairn. Stones are visible in the structure but there is no sign of in situ construction. The mound is uneven and is now largely covered by moss, grass and heather; no entrance is apparent. There are signs of robbing and collapse on the NE side and the W side has been completely truncated by the road. The cairn sits on a slope, so that it is 3.5m high at the W and 1m high on the E; it is 2.5m high from the middle of the slope. Large stones are present on the top which are perhaps displaced lintels or capstones. There are up to 0.3m deep, 1m long and 0.5m high. The remainder of the stone rubble averages 0.3m x 0.2m and is sub-angular. A modern walkers' cairn has developed on the top. <3>

The cairn was proposed for Scheduling by Historic Environment Scotland as part of their North West Cairns Project. The scheduling came into effect as of 29/08/2018. <4>

GIS spatial data amended in 2019 according to location of site as seen on 2009 vertical APs. <5>

Sources/Archives (9)



Grid reference Centred NC 2341 2553 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC22NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.