MHG2099 - Warehouse South Chambered Cairn


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

An Orkney-Cromarty type round cairn with a Camster type chamber. One of the group of five cairns known as Cairns of Warehouse, it was excavated by Rhind in 1853 and Anderson in 1865. It now comprises a mound of flat slabs, partly turf-covered 8 to 9ft high with a diameter of about 55ft, and a partially exposed chamber. Anderson found remains of two encircling wall faces, the outer of which is exp osed north and east of the entrance, and the inner on the SE side of the entrance.
A S Henshall 1963; RCAHMS 1911; J Rhind 1854; J Anderson 1886; J Sinclair 1865.

This cairn bears no resemblance to Miss Henshall's plan which is apparently of another cairn, unless based on Anderson's plan, in which case her N arrow is inverted. The cairn survives as a mound of bare stones on a hillock, and measures 17m in diameter and 1.5m max height, and is surmounted by a modern marker cairn. A hollow in the centre shows the top of a large upright slab 2.3m long facing NW-SE which appears to be the back slab of an Orkney-Cromarty type chamber. One other smaller upright slab, facing NW-SE is visible about 1m to SE. There is no other sign of the chamber nor of a kerb, nor of the entrance, which is presumably in SE. A mound of debris extending
to NE is apparently material dumped f rom the central excavation. Surveyed at 1:10,000. Visited by OS 13 March 1972.

Under and extending S of Orkney-Cromarty type round cairn is a long horned cairn. Near the round cairn it measures approx 10m in breadth; at its narrowest point some 30m S it measures some 7m in breadth; it extends some 35m from the edge of the round cairn to the centre of its S facade. S forecourt measures approx 9-10m between southernmost inner corners of horns some 2m wide and is about 5m deep. A mass of masonry on NE side of the round cairn may be a horn of a N forecourt, but excavations by Anderson in 1865 allow the possibility that this masonry is spoil. A more jumbled mass of masonry on NNW side of the round cairn is in a feasible position for a horn but is indistinguishable from spoil. All measurements are converted from paces and orientations are approx. Info from P J Ashmore to OS, 1982.

Sources/Archives (18)



Grid reference Centred ND 3058 4209 (60m by 60m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND34SW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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