MHG1816 - Camster Round Chambered Cairn


An Orkney-Cromarty type round cairn, virtually intact. This is one of the group of three cairns known as the 'Grey Cairns of Camster'.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

An Orkney-Cromarty type round cairn, 60' in diameter and 12' high, virtually intact, with a particularly fine chamber which together with ND24SE 21, gives name to its type. This is one of the group of three cairns known as the ' Grey Cairns of Camster' (See also ND24SE 1 and 17) Excavation by Anderson and Shearer in 1865 produced flint implements and an iron knife-blade, now in NMAS (Acc No's : EO 97-123) and pottery, now lost. Further excavation was carried out by R Ritchie in 1967 prior to the public's being allowed access to the chamber. A tiny fragment of beaker was found,and half the blocking in front of the entrance was removed.
Surveyed at 1:10,000. A S Henshall 1963; Name Book 1872; Curr Archaeol 1972; J Anderson 1886; RCAHMS 1911; S Cruden 1967; Visited by OS 11 April 1972. <1> <2> <3> <4> <5> <6>

The cairn was Scheduled in 1934 together with the chambered long cairn to the northeast (see MHG1809).

Douglas Scott posted a photograph on the Highland HER Facebook page showing the rising sun shining into the cairn at 7:06am on 10 September 2003. <7>

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). <8>

Camster Round. (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG12527.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG4016.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4354.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4355.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4356.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG3913.

Anderson, J. & Shearer, R.I., 1866, Report on the ancient remains of Caithness and results of explorations conducted for the Anthropological Society of London by Messrs. Joseph Anderson and Robert Innes Shearer in 1865, 245-9 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1404.

Anderson, J, 1868, 'On the chambered cairns of Caithness, with results of recent explorations', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 6 1864-6, p.442-51, 449-51 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1323.

Stuart, J, 1870, 'Report to the committee of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, appointed to arrange for the application of a fund left by the late Mr A Henry Rhind, for excavating early remains', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 7 1866-8, p.289-307, 293 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1407.

Close-Brooks, J, 1986, Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Highlands, 164-5, No. 93 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2053.

Davidson, JL and Henshall, A S, 1991, The chambered cairns of Caithness: an inventory of the structures and their contents, 102-4; plan (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2115.

<1> Henshall, A S, 1963, The chambered tombs of Scotland, Volume 1, 263-6, CAT 13 (Text/Publication/Monograph). SHG357.

<2> Ordnance Survey, Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Book No. 13, 234 (Text/Publication/Monograph). SHG3343.

<3> Current Archaeology, 1971-2, Round up: excavations 1971, 132 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1454.

<4> Anderson, J, 1886, Scotland in pagan times: the bronze and stone ages: the Rhind lectures in archaeology for 1882, Vol. 1, 130 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG1898.

<5> RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 184, No. 565 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

<6> Cruden, S, 1967, Camster Round Cairn, Caithness, 56 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG395.

<7> Highland Council, 2011, Highland HER Facebook page, Douglas Scott, 18/05/2011 (Interactive Resource/Webpage). SHG25262.

<8> Historic Environment Scotland, 2017, Amended entry in the Schedule of Monuments: SM90056 Grey Cairns of Camster (Text/Designation Notification/Scheduled Monument). SHG27816.

Sources/Archives (19)



Grid reference Centred ND 2607 4403 (60m by 60m)
Map sheet ND24SE
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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