MHG1746 - Chambered Cairn, Stroma Lighthouse


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

Chambered Cairn (NR) OS 6" map, (1970)

This Orkney-Cromarty round cairn is mainly turf-covered with a diameter of 45ft and a height of about 5ft. On SE side is a garden wall and remains are more disturbed than in 1911. On SW side, 11ft within cairn edge, are exposed four courses of a wall-face 5ft long and evidently part of a wall-face encircling cairn. Towards the centre, the tops of slabs are exposed.
A S Henshall 1963; RCAHMS 1911,

This cairn is now visible as a grass-covered earth and stone mound 14m in diameter and 1.6m high. An excavation has exposed remains of a chamber in centre. No traces of a wall-face nor any other significant feature could be found.
Resurveyed at 1.2500. Visited by OS (RD) 1 March 1965.

The cairn measures approximately 16m in diameter by 1.5m high. The only visible stone-work is an alignment of two contiguous slabs, 2.2m long N-S, in the disturbed centre. NW angle of a garden has destroyed SE side of cairn.
Visited by OS (JM) 8 July 1982.

This chambered cairn is on level uncultivated land, about 100m from rocky coast at 17m OD. The turf-covered cairn has a fairly well-defined edge except on SE side where it has been removed to make a small walled garden. The cairn has a diameter of about 16m, and rises in a smooth slope to a maximum height of 1.8m but centre is hollowed and has been much disturbed. On S side, 3.8m within edge, three courses of a curved wall-face are exposed for a length of 1.6m. On W side of central hollow, slightly SW of centre of cairn and only 1.45m from curved wall-face, upper edges of two contiguous slabs are just exposed. Threy are almost in line facing E and W. Both are 0.05m thick, and their combined length is 2.25m. It is possible that they are one slab broken vertically with half slightly displaced. Curle (RCAHMS, supra) recorded them in 1910 as a single slab 2.6m long. A wall-face 0.6m long runs E from their N end. The tip of a slab leaning to W can be seen 0.7m E of centre of contiguous slabs. This slab was recorded by Curle, 0.2m farther to E and presumably then upright. It is 0.8m long, N end not being visible, and 0.08m thick. A third parallel vertical slab was seen by Curle 0.45m to W of contiguous slabs, hidden in 1988 under dumped cairn material. In 1988 the tips of two more vertical slabs were noted, both 0.1m thick; their function is not clear. One is nearly parallel to and 4.4m E of contiguous slabs, and measures 0.45m long. It is not earthfast and may have been broken. The other is between last mentioned slabs and skew to them, measuring 0.27m long.
Visited 29 June 1988. J L Davidson and A S Henshall 1991.

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 3527 7912 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND37NE
Civil Parish CANISBAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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