MHG2352 - Cairn of Heathercow


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

ND26SW 2 2431 6017.
Cairn of Heathercow (NAT) Chambered Cairn (NR)
OS 6" map, (1970)

The Cairn of Heathercro (Henshall 1963; RCAHMS 1911), Heathercow (ONB 1872), or Heather Cow (OSA 1793) is an Orkney-Cromarty type long cairn with a pentagonal chamber.
The prominent, nearly circular, turf-covered mound at NE end appears to be well preserved and stands c8ft high, but SW of it cairn has been robbed to such an extend that original NW edge is not traceable. In this robbed area 3 large upright slabs may have formed part of second chamber, and various other stones are partly exposed. RCAHMS, in 1911, say that cairn was horned at SW end, but Miss Henshall was not convinced of this, and in 1793 cairn is said to have been 'surrounded by six or seven circles, described at different distances around large stones set on edge'. These have now gone. When excavated by Sir Francis Tress Barry c1904, chamber contained fragments of an urn and horse's teeth. These were replaced in cairns. Another partial excavation took place in 1871 when a cist, containing human remains and an urn, were found. The urn was removed to Aberdeen.
OSA 1793; Name Book 1872; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910; A S Henshall 1963, visited 1957.

The Cairn of Heathercow is as described and planned by Miss Henshall. No further information was obtained concerning the spelling of the name. Resurveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (N K B) 29 November 1965.

This chambered cairn is as described and planned. It is 49.0m long by 18.0m across the NE end.
Visited by OS (J B) 6 May 1982

Long cairn (ND 2431 6017), 'Cairn of Heathercro'. Sub-rectangular mound badly robbed and mutilated along the SW edge. The excavated chamber is clearly defined as a small slot cut into the top of the mound. Orientation NE-SW.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 2430 6017 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND26SW
Civil Parish BOWER
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (1)

  • VESSEL (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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