MHG13588 - Burial cairn with cist, Latheronwheel


A large burial cairn, heavily vegetated, with an empty cist on the summit.

Type and Period (2)

  • BURIAL CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • CIST (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A large elliptical grass-covered mound with small stones visible in the north face of the mound. The mound measures 10m by 6.3m with evidence of slight cattle erosion. A rectangular cist is present on the summit, empty with slab lining. <1>

The cairn was recently visited by a local researcher. It is described as a grass-covered mound to the direct south-west of the ravine end, just under 60m into the field from the field-dyke above the river. The cist measures approximately 1m long (minimum) by 0.75m wide with all slabs still in position. A large stone, possibly the capstone, lies 2.5m away under the edge of whins on the north side of the mound. <2>

It is believed that the site described under <2> corresponds with this record. Although the positions don't match exactly, this is probably due to the margin of error from the original survey. The recorded location has been left alone for now until a GPS reading can be taken. <3>

A rapid walkover survey was undertaken in this area in 2011. The cairn was not found at the recorded location but a feature matching the above description was located approximately 50m to the south. The top of the cairn was very overgrown but the probable capstone from the cist was clearly visible lying to the north (see MHG55058). The cairn has suffered considerable damage and there seems to have been tipping of field clearance stones into the end of the ravine. Some of these probably came from the cairn itself.
The feature is described as roughly circular, approximately 5.5m in diameter. What may be a capstone is lying on a large heap of stones which has been pushed into the end of the vailley leading off the east - apparently the result of 19th or 20th-century field clearance (see MHG55058). The report recommendations state that this feature should be marked off and safeguarded from the proposed planting with an appropriate buffer. <4>

The locational details have been amended in light of the above information. The above description has been confirmed by local researcher Meg Sinclair who reports two separate mounds at this location. <5> To avoid any further confusion the "large heap of stones" described under <4> has been assigned a separate record number MHG55058. <6>

Damage occurred to the north east flank of this cairn during vegetation clearance in 2011 or early 2012. However the cist and the supposed capstone were undisturbed. The exposed cairn material on the north east flank includes a number of unmodified water rounded cobbles. <7>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred ND 18792 32302 (15m by 16m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND13SE
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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