MHG13129 - Possible kerb or chambered cairn - Achmore Farm


A possible kerb or chambered cairn at Achmore Farm which may be a natural feature.

Type and Period (3)

  • KERB CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • (Alternate Type) NATURAL FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • (Alternate Type) CHAMBERED CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2401 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC 242252: Cairn with setting of large stones round the edge; now very ruined; diameter around 22 ft. (22ft = 6.82m)
(Letter A.S. Henshall N.M.A.S. to A.J. Boyd, Inverkirgaig, 30.6.1954)

Two possible sites for this cairn were found. The first (A) at NC24082490, consists of four stones in an arc with a fifth some distance away. The diameter of the circle passing through these stones may be about 7.0m. The arrangement of the stones may be fortuitous and quite natural, and the feature cannot even be tentatively be identified as a cairn. The second site at NC24172507, consists of a few stones in an arc with the diameter of the circle about 4.0m. This small size and the lack of other indications make this feature, also, most certain as a cairn.
(OSFI: E. Geary: 20.5.1962)

The structure seen by Boyd is at NC24112499, here on the edge of a shelf, four large stones in an arc, lie on the S edge of an amorphous turf-covered stony mound about 7.3m in diameter. It could be the poor remnants of a cairn; but it is situated in an area of depopulation cultivation with curvuing banks and lynchets and it could well be due to these later activities. A foundation 4.0m square lies 10.0m to the NW. F.I. first description seems toi fit this site, but his second 4.0m circle is a natural outcrop.
(OSFI: J.M: 15.8.1974)

A kerb cairn has been recorded at this location in the past but usually deemed doubtful with a natural origin has been preferred and it was visited by members of Historic Assynt in 2014. While the feature here may be natural, the three stones referred to in all reports sit on a low mound within a generally level area, backed to the north by a low ridge which arcs around the feature and to the south by a downslope. This is just the sort of plan that would result from the robbing of the majority of the material from a chambered cairn leaving just the upper parts of some of the orthostats upstanding. In plan the possible orthostats suggest a chamber aligned to the SE. Against that identification the stones are all local limestone whereas chambered cairns in Assynt usually use Quartzite or other harder stones for orthostats and portals etc. <1>

GIS spatial data amended in 2019 according to location as seen on 2009 vertical AP's. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 2421 2509 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC22NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

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