MHG13051 - Chambered Cairn, Loch Borralan West


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

NC21SE 1 2603 1114.
(NC 2603 1114) Chambered Cairn (NR) OS 6"map, (1966)

Round cairn of Orkney-Cromarty group, with a polygonal chamber. The cairn has been built on a slightly sloping site on the shore of Loch Borrolan. It had a diameter of c50 ft and still has a height of 7 ft, but it has been severely robbed on E side. It stands 6 ft within a ring of small boulders which seem to edge a very low platform on which the cairn is built. This feature is more noticeable on higher and more complete W side, where boulders are almost contiguous. The entrance passage has evidently been on E side but is now destroyed. The chamber is represented by two slabs 4 ft 10 ins apart, evidently walls of outer compartment of a bipartite chamber, and two transverse slabs beyond them. The inner end of chamber is obscured by cairn material.
A S Henshall 1963; RCAHMS 1911. <1>,<2>

A chambered cairn, as described by Miss Henshall.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (NKB) 23 6 1980, (GHP) 2 June 1962.

Surveyed by the Assynt's Hidden Lives project in November 2009. The cairn lies on a gently sloping area about 30m from the A837 leading to Loch Borralan. It is approximately 15m by 12m, aligned E-W with a maximum height of 2m. The cairn body consists of gathered stones of varying shape and size, though most are sub-angular and angular, averaging 0.4m long. The stones are piled to form a sub-circular cairn which has been robbed, particularly on the east side. The chamber is no longer visible, although a depression on the top of the mound may indicate this. No orthostats or lintel stones are visible and the kerb described by previous surveyors is barely visible.
The site has been described as a round cairn of Orkney-Cromarty group with a polygonal chamber.
There is no evidence of the slabs of the bi-partite chamber as described in 1911 and the site appears to have been considerably disturbed since the last report from 1962. <3>

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4467.

<1> RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, 5, No. 13 (Text/Report). SHG2657.

<2> Henshall, A S, 1963, The chambered tombs of Scotland, Volume 1, 324, SUT 44; plan, fig. 68 (Text/Publication/Monograph). SHG357.

<3> Cavers, G & Hudson, G, 05/2010, Assynt's Hidden Lives: An archaeological survey of the the parish, 12, p.70-71 (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG24882.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NC 2603 1114 (80m by 80m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC21SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

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