MHG142 - Cairn, Salen 2


A cairn previously believed to be a burial cairn but shown during fieldwork to be modern, at least in part. Now destroyed.

Type and Period (3)

  • (Former Type) CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • BURIAL CAIRN? (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • (Alternate Type) NON ANTIQUITY? (Modern - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Cairn (possible), Salen: What may possibly be the remains of a burial-cairn can be seen in marshy ground some 30m S of the old schoolhouse of Salen. Heavily over-grown with trees and shrubs, it is an irregularly shaped pile of stones about 6.5m in diameter and 0.9m in height.
RCAHMS 1980, visited 1972. <1>

The was identified on the ground during a rapid walkover survey in advance of the construction of two new houses. The report states that it was observed to consist of a mound of broken concrete and stone in shrubs on the west side of the development site. The report also quotes a local source who considers that the cairn represents the bases of Nissen huts which were cleared after the war to restore the sports field to its original condition (the site having been used during the war as a Royal Navy camp). In the opinion of the report author the cairn was not an ancient monument. It was dismantled under archaeological supervision and no features of archaeological interest were observed. <2>

It should be noted that the 6 figure grid reference commented on in <2> (p18) originated from the RCAHMS Inventory (<1>) and represents the corner of a 100 m grid square, therefore the location of the cairn was accurately, if not precisely, reported. Whilst broken concrete can certainly be seen in some of the photographs, it is not clear whether this was present throughout the structure. There remains some uncertainty over the interpretation of this feature. <3>

Iain Thornber, who first reported the site to RCAHMS, does not recall seeing any concrete when he first identified the cairn so it is possible that this material relates to a relatively recent dumping episode. RCAHMS has checked the original field notebooks of their surveyor and were unable to find any material relating to this site. There is however a drawing of the site in the RCAHMS inventory (see <1>). <4><5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NM 6875 6434 (8m by 8m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM66SE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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