MHG14363 - Cairnfield, Laiken Glen


A group of at least 50 prehistoric cairns, including field clearance and a number of burial cairns.

Type and Period (1)

  • CAIRNFIELD (Late Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 1250 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

Full Description

Extensive cairnfield with many upstanding remains. Up to 56 cairns can be counted from Aerial Photograph. (located H Link 2004-2_NH95SW0017)

Site was discovered by farmer c.2000 and is currently being investigated by Ronnie Scott who is conducting both survey and excavation over the site.

The two of the cairns being investigated specifically demonstrate different characteristics.

In the northern tip of the field, excavation over two seasons has shown the cairn to have the partial remains of a stone and earth platform. This surrounds an external kerb of large boulders set on end against a well packed mound of smaller stones. Internally the cairn is scooped in towards the centre, described as 'Dish Shaped.'

To the south in the lower portion of the field a further cairn being investigated also showed evidence of an external platform with a less well defined kerb on the NW. This cairn is smaller and slightly oval in form aligned N-S.
The interior of the cairn is more complex with the western side showing evidence of a possible internal kerb or what might be described as terracing with an obvious scoop similar to that seen in the northern cairn.
The eastern side differs from this pattern in that there is no evidence of the internal kerb and rather than it being 'Dished', there is what seems to be a platform of well compacted small stones just to the east of the centre.

Further information will follow with the results of the initial excavation and survey.
Site Visit (HC) KC/AP/DEH 15/06/05
Photographs (located H Link 2004-2_NH95SW0017)

An interim report on the fieldwork was received in October 2005. The working hypothesis is that the cairns form a Late Bronze Age land clearance and ritualised cairnfield with at least two associated ceremonial dished kerb cairns. <1>

Information from ARCH Community Timeline Project: Auldearn:
C-14 dates of samples have given early Iron Age dates (DES 2008 p. 99).
Add to bibliography:
Ronnie Scott and Annette Jack 2007. 'Laikenbuie', DES v. 8, 2007, p. 106; DES v. 9, 2008, pp. 98-9. <2> <3>

The site was published as Chapter 6 in Bradley, R. and Nimura, C. 2016 (eds): The Use and Reuse of Stone Circles. Fieldwork at five Scottish monuments and its implications'. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NH 908 522 (233m by 312m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH95SW
Civil Parish AULDEARN
Geographical Area NAIRN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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