MHG2362 - Mound, Sysa (Doom or Judgement)


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • MOOT HILL (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) NATURAL FEATURE (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Sysa (NR) OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

This is a grass-covered mound, 200ft long, 165ft wide and with a max height of 30ft, which is said by RCAHMS (1911) to be natural, but which has a local reputation of being artificial and to be associated with the supernatural, especially with one occurrence on the day of the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
The original OS surveyor (ONB 1872) describes it as similar to the Bass of Inverurie (NJ72SE 13) and suggests that the name derives from 'sise' meaning 'doom' or 'judgement'. The appearance of the mound is said to have been altered by cultivation, and a spring is said to have existed in a hollow on S face. The existence of spring would tend to confirm that the mound is natural.
Name Book 1872; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910; Information from OS revisor (W C) 5 May 1956

Sysa mound is undoubtedly natural.
Visited by OS (R D) 11 November 1965

(ND 1694 6477) Sysa (NAT) OS 25" map, (1968)

Sysa: a mound in an area of old fields and enhanced by ploughing around it; in W side is a small quarry hollow. As stated previously, it would appear to be natural.
Visited by OS (J M) 28 October 1981

Mound, 'Sysa'. Dimensions: 82 x 75m. grass-covered mound of subcircular appearance around 10m high. There is no evidence of any coursing or stonework. Slight depressions in the surface may indicate chambers. Orientation NE-SW.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

Name Book (County), Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Book No. 7, 69-70 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG3394.

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, 89, No. 330 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 1693 6477 (20m by 20m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND16SE
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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