MHG2152 - Cairn with cist - Warth Hill


No summary available.

Type and Period (3)

  • BURIAL CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • CIST (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • BEACON (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

Cairn (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1975).

The remains of a cairn, c 57ft in diameter, in which primary short cist, of roughly dressed slabs, was exposed in centre by Anderson about 1870.
The peristalith, of closely set blocks 2-4ft long and 1-1,5ft high, is visible in S with, 6ft within it and set concentrically, a number of large stones, point upwards. A rectangular cist is exposed about 17ft in from S edge (RCAHMS 1911). This may be the cist which was exposed many years before 1870 and which contained a skeleton. The cist is said by Anderson to have lain 3 ft SW of the central cist, but his measurements and the RCAHMS's vary. It measured 4.5 by 2.25 by 1 2/3ft deep.
Six feet E of central cist was a well-like hole, almost square, with dry-built sides and about 20ins wide. It went down to soil level and contained only black ashes. The quantity of ashes filling every crevice of cairn suggested it had been used as a beacon site.
J Anderson 1871; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

A cairn on summit of Warth Hill (c125m OD) measuring 19m in diameter and 2m high. The hollowed centre is partly filled with debris and there is no trace of two cists. W and N edges of cairn are mutilated by modern ditches, but there is no trace here, or elsewhere, of a kerb, nor of the upright stones 6ft within it. It looks as if a trench, now filled in, has been cut from SW edge of cairn into the centre. There is no trace of the well-like square hole. Visited by OS (A A) 10 March 1972.

No change to the previous field report.
Surveyed at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (J B) 12 July 1982.

The NMS catalogue lists a hammerstone (X.AK 2) which was found on top of the cist cover. It was acquired from J. Anderson in 1869. <1>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 3715 6988 (16m by 16m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND36NE
Civil Parish CANISBAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (1)

  • HAMMERSTONE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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