MHG1809 - Camster Long Chambered Cairn


An Orkney-Cromarty type long chambered cairn. One of the group of three cairns known as 'The Grey Cairns of Camster.'

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

An Orkney-Cromarty type, long, horned cairn, 195' NE-SW with two lateral, tripartite, chambers, which give name to their type. One of the group of three cairns known as 'The Grey Cairns of Camster.' (See also ND24SE 16 & 17)
Excavation by Anderson and Shearer in 1886 established that the cairn was bounded by a 6' high double-faced wall, while further excavation by Corcoran in 1971 and Masters in 1978-80 proved that is chambers belonged to two chambered round cairns, each encircled by a wall, which had been incorporated in the long cairn. (cf Mid Gleniorn 1: NX16SE 14). Cairn was restored after excavation.
Surveyed at 1:10,000.
A S Henshall 1963; Name Book 1872; Current Archaeology 1971; J Anderson 1886; RCAHMS 1911; L J Masters 1978 and 1980. <1> <2> <3> <4> <5> <6> <7>

The cairn was Scheduled in 1934 together with the chambered round cairn to the southeast (see MHG1816).

East Caithness Local Plan, May 1987: P31/2.52. Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites.
POLICY - In considering development proposals, the Council will safeguard Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Important Archaeological Sites insofar as this is compatible with their aim of achieving a sound employment base for the local population.
J Aitken : 22/05/01.

Both cairns have been reconstructed to allow public access, duck boards to sites from road. Grazing regime immediately around the two allows them to predominate in the landscape. <8>

The Scheduling was amended by Historic Environment Scotland in 2017 to better reflect the monuments and to add a second cairn further to the south (see MHG1817). <9>

Neolithic excavation assemblage comprising pottery sherdss, flaked stone implements and coarse stone tools is listed under TT No. TT 20/07. This assemblage was allocated to the NMS, and is listed under accession number 2014.386. <10 > <11>

Human remains from the site are within NMS collections. <12>

Sources/Archives (26)



Grid reference Centred ND 2601 4420 (84m by 99m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND24SE
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (1)

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2401 BC?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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