MHG1315 - Stone Setting, Achavanich


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Type and Period (1)

  • STONE SETTING (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)

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Full Description

Standing Stones (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

A setting of stones in the form of a truncated oval, open to the SE, which shows no sign of ever having been a completed oval. It measures 225ft long by 100ft and may originally have comprised about sixty stones of which about a third have either weathered or been removed. The stones are thick slabs of flag, standing to an average height of 5ft and set at intervals of about 8ft with their broad faces towards each aother, not along the line.
A cist measuring 5ft by 3ft 9ins, formed by four slabs set on edge stands against the most northerly stone of the setting.
This monument, which can be compared only with the example at Broubster (ND06SW 19), should probably be assigned to the earlier part of the Bronze Age.
RCAHMS 1911; J Anderson 1886; R W Feachem 1963.

An unusual setting of standing stones generally as described and planned. One or two stones along the E side outside the uprights, particularly in the NE corner suggest that there may have been a retaining kerb on this side, which is on the edge of an escarpment. The cist, roughly oriented N-S, is of the dimensions noted by the RCAHMS (1911), but is not composed of four slabs. E side is composed of four upright slabs and one similar slab on W side suggests that this side has been the same. There is no trace of the end stones. Elsewhere the tops of a few other stones in a similar position immediately outside the line of uprights suggests the presence of similar structures as yet uncovered.
Surveyed at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (I S S) 20 April 1972.

Thirty-six flat, thin stones and snapped-off stumps. In fine weather the conspicuous Mt Morven is visible in the S over the nearby ridge and seems to be indicated by some of the stones. It may well be an astronomical foresight.
E W MacKie 1975.

A horse-shoe setting possibly comparable to the arrangement known within some stone circles, including Croft Moraig (NN74NE 12) and Broubster (ND06SW 19) as well as Stonehenge, although its opening to the SSE instead of the SW is untypical.
H A W Burl 1973.

No change. Visited by OS (N K B) 6 December 1982.

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred ND 1878 4177 (64m by 88m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND14SE
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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