MHG2313 - Chambered cairn - Oslie


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

Oslie Cairn (NAT) Chambered Cairn (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, 1975

This is an Orkney-Cromarty type round cairn (? Camster-type chamber). RCAHMS (1911) describe it as a 'grass-covered hillock which seems to be a chambered cairn. On the summit just protruding through the soil is the edge of a large slab lying NNW and SSE, measuring about 6ft 5ins in length and 9 or 10ins in thickness, while parallel to its ENE face at either end and 2 to 3ft distant are two shorter slabs about 1ft 9ins in length. The outline of the mound is very indefinite, but the diameter appears to be from 50 to 60ft. In 1956, the cairn had been reduced, and only one slab was visible.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910; A S Henshall 1963, visited 1956

The cairn was Scheduled in 1934.

All that now remains of this cairn is an oval grass-covered mound measuring 13 by 5m. It stands 0.8m high and is surmounted by a stone slab set on edge. It is now impossible to determine the cairn's character.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R D) 27 October 1965

The chambered cairn survives as a partially turf-covered mound 14.5m NNE-SSW by 8m transversely and 1m high, in which are the large slab and the two shorter slabs noted by Miss Henshall. The original perimeter of the cairn is barely traceable.
Visited by OS (J M) 2 March 1982

The last remnant of this cairn is in an arable field which slopes gently down to S to shore of Loch Watten. The cairn is at 25m OD, 150m from loch. It has now been reduced to an oval area measuring 16m N-S by 4m across and 0.8m high, onto which field stones have been gathered. Near centre the tops of two slabs can be seen 1m apart. The NE slab is 0.5m long, 0.15m thick, and just protrudes. The SW slab, which leans slightly to SW, is 1.55m long, 0.3m thick and is exposed for 0.4m on the SW side. These two slabs together with the third slab seen in 1910 probably belong to the end compartment of a chamber the axis of which ran ENE-WSW. Visited 4 October 1988. <1>

Chambered cairn, Oslie cairn. Dimensions: 33 x 29m. Subcircular grass-covered mound 1.2m high with a central depression 11 x 5m, the remains of a chamber.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

The scheduling of the cairn was amended by Historic Environment Scotland in 2017. <2>

GIS spatial data amended in 2018 according to location on OS MasterMap. <3>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 2271 5679 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND25NW
Civil Parish WATTEN
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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