MHG14290 - Chambered cairn - Scotsburn Wood (Cairn D)


A chambered cairn in Scotsburn Wood.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

One of a number of cairns in Scotsburn Wood. Originally recorded as Cairn D.

". . . traditionally said to indicate an ancient battle between some Scottish forces and the Danes." <1>

Carn nam Marbh (Dead Men's Cairn): This cairn and those in Scotsburn Wood are almost certain to mark the site of a battle. Neighbouring names are: "Lochan a' Chlaidheimh" - Sword Lochlet, and Bearnas a' Chalaidheimh" - Sword Cleft. <2>

NH77NW 5 726 766.

A: (NH 7304 7644) Cairn (NR), B: (NH 7300 7649) Cairn (NR), C: (NH 7282 7673) Cairn (NR), D: (NH 7260 7687) Cairn (NR), E: (NH 7218 7679) Cairn (NR) and F: (NH 7220 7669) Site of Cairn (NR)
OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

In the area centred NH 7261 7667 on the S-facing slopes of Beinn an Lochain are, or have been, six cairns in the positions given. All are in an area that has been fairly recently reafforested.
Cairn A is a heather-covered mound 11m diameter with a maximum height of 2m on W. It has been ploughed and planted with young firs but this has at least served to show the stony content of the mound.
There are no remains of cairn B.
Cairn C is 13m N-S and has a fairly level top now of bare stone. The perimeter is covered (heather) except on S side where cairn is now skirted by a forestry road. The greatest height of cairn is 1m.
Cairn D is 14m diameter and has a max height of 1.2m It consists of bare stone and just W of its centre a large slab stands on edge which together with a few other large stones nearby may form or have formed part of a chamber or cist. Any such feature is at present, however, obscured by abundance of smaller rubble.
Cairn E has been much mutilated by ploughing and trees planting. It appears to have been 16m diameter and is now generally level with ground. In centre of cairn, four large slabs, one of which has fallen, form NW end of a chamber 5.5m long and 3m wide, aligned NW-SE. The largest of these stones is set across the chamber, dividing it into two compartments. A passage 0.8m wide and 2m long can be discerned at SE end marked by four stones, two set on each side.
There are no remains of cairn F.
Visited by OS (R D L) 17 May 1963.

The cairn was scheduled in 1971.

Cairn "D" (NH 7260 7687) lies in the Forestry plantation, 550' above sea level on a S-facing hillside. It has been c.50' in diameter and remains are 3-4' high. Many of the orthostats of a chamber or passage can be identified. Their tops, generally, level with the remains of the cairn. The entrance has been from the WNW c.13' within the present edge of the cairn. The passage is 10'6" long and the chamber entrance 1'9" wide, The chamber, c.14'6" long, has two compartments divided by a pair of transverse slabs with an entry between them. <3>

"D", sub-circular, measuring c.15.5m NW-SE by c14m transversely, and 1.2m high. The dug-out centre shows one or two slabs of an Orkney-Cromarty chamber, entered from SE, which is mainly obscured by debris.
Re-surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (JS) and (AA) 14 3 1973.

See also <4>

NGR amended to position as seen on 2009 APs. <5>

It is worth noting that Cairn D appears to be located some 75-80m to the northeast of its position as shown on the OS 1st and 2nd Edition maps (which is rather odd given the general accuracy of these maps). IS-L 30/10/2017

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 7267 7690 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH77NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

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