MHG1786 - Chambered Cairn, Stemster


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

Mound (NR) OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

Stone Cist containing Human Remains found AD 1840 (NAT) This is apparently the remains of a cairn. 1 large slab, some 5ft long and 6-8ins thick, protrudes from back of a hollow caused by removal of stones (RCAHMS 1911). The cairn was opened in 1840 when 'human remains and a stone coffin were found in it (ONB 1872).
Name Book 1872; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910 <1><2>

This feature, situated on a ridge, c300ft OD, is almost undoubtedly remains of a long cairn although it is impossible to determine its exact dimension; it is considerably mutilated and covered in gorse. The slab and a setting of stones 3m to SE at edge of a hollow suggest the remains of a chamber.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R D) 11 November 1965

(ND 1708 6315) Cairn (NR) OS 25" map, (1968)

On a slight rise is a long cairn, turf-covered and whin-overgrown, and considerably penetrated by quarry hollows. It measures an estimated 60m N-S, along main axis. The rounded S end measures approximately 13m across and stands 1.2m high. The remainder of cairn tails away to 0.4m high and 10m across in W. No stonework suggestive of a chamber was noted.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (J M) 28 October 1981

Chambered cairn. Length: 65m. A long cairn 2m high situated on a ridge with two depressions on its W side one of which contains a slab set on edge. It appears to have originally consisted of 2 round cairns which have been conjoined into a long cairn. Orientation NE-SW.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

Schedule amended 14/04/2005 to include the area of the cairn marked on OS mapping as opposed to the smaller area around the southern extent of the earthwork marked.
DEH 31/05/05

A proposed water main to the SW of this cairn was diverted to avoid any disturbance to archaeological remains. A watching brief was maintained during ground-breaking works in October 2008. No archaeological remains were encountered, the only finds being 19th century pottery. It was noted that the long cairn had been extensively dug into at some time in the past, leaving theorthostats of the chamber exposed. <3>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred ND 1707 6316 (26m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND16SE
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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