MHG1783 - Chambered Long Cairn, Gallow Hill


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

Gallow Hill (NAT) Long Cairn (NR) OS 6" map, (1970)

V large and relatively undisturbed long cairn measuring about 223ft long excluding the short, stubby horns which protrude from the SSE. In profile the monument is divided into three segments by transverse hollows indicating a multi-period construction. At the SSE end there is a steep-sided circular mound measuring about 90ft in diameter. It stands about 10ft high with a flat top about 45ft in diameter. The horns are low and are visible only as a slight rise in surface of field. Could be interpreted as a heel-shaped cairn.
Centre mound appears to have slightly concave sides and is square rather than round. It is 4-5ft high linked to other mounds by cairn material about 2ft deep.
NW cairn, about 4ft high, appears to be circular. Edges of monument are fairly clear. On W side edge forms a fairly regular curve, but on E side it is less regular and in particular there appears to be a bulge at SE corner of centre cairn.
The three elements are intact so there is no indication of nature of interior structures; but there is some evidence from outside Scotland that small detatched chambers might be built in a row; and on an extension of the axis of this cairn, and only 75ft away, there is a small cairn (ND16SE 19) with the chamber aligned at right angles to the main axis.
A S Henshall 1963; 1972.

A horned long cairn as described.
Re-surveyed at 1:2500 Visited by OS (R D) 10 November 1965.

No change. Visited by OS (J M) 29 October 1981

Horned long cairn. Length: 82m. Trapezoidal long cairn formed by conjunction of two round cairns. Main round cairn orig measured 30 x 28m, the tail cairn 15 x 12m joined by a long cairn measuring 14 x 12m. NE horn is 6m long, NW horn 3.5m long, 17m apart.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred ND 1531 6157 (65m by 88m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND16SE
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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