MHG2532 - Chambered Long Cairn, Youkil Hillock


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Youkil Hillock, noted in ONB (1872) as 'A small natural mound' is in fact a long horned cairn, overgrown with turf and heather, situated in a prominent position. It appears to be of common two-phase type similar to Cnoc Freiceadain cairns (ND06NW 10 and 11) comprising a roughly circular mound 1m high, which occupies the summit of hill, and a low talus, 0.4m max height, extending down a gentle slope in a NNW direction. Summit mound has been dug into, and spoil from it piled to SSE obscuring the facade at that point; no part of a chamber or passage is exposed, and there is no local knowledge or tradition of any finds having been made. The cairn measures 66m NNW-SSE, 22m broad at SSE end and 15m wide at NNW end. All four horns are visible though reduced; that at SW extremity is obscured by whins.
Surveyed at 1:2500. Name Book 1872; Visited by OS (NKB) 10 3 1982

The cairn is on a slight rise in a level area of rough grazing at 99m OD. The site slopes down gently from S to N, and ground falls away on all sides except E.
The axis runs slightly E of S to W of N, length of cairn along the axis being about 67m. S part to about 18m from S edge has been much robbed and left uneven, mostly covered with coarse grass 13m from S edge. This part of cairn appears to be remains of a much higher mound. Edge is very vague and is partly obscured by gorse. S end appears more or less square in plan with a width of about 19m; plan almost certainly reflects the presence of horns.
The northern two-thirds of cairn are heather-covered. The edge along most of E side is fairly clear, but round N end it is less so, and along W side it merges with the slope of the ground and is partly covered by gorse.This northern part of cairn is low and level in long profile, generally about 0.5m high, though, due to drop in ground level, N end is 1.1m high measured from N. Width for most of its length is 12-13m, increasing to 15.5m across N end. At ground level this end is almost square in plan but at slightly higher level it is concave giving impression of shallow forecourt between short horns. There has been little interference with cairn edges which rise smoothly, and within them, from remains of high mound to about 12m from N end, cairn is mainly level in cross-section with some surface disturbance showing as shallow hollows, but N of this, to about 5m from end, it is more deeply disturbed.
Visited 8 October 1988. J L Davidson and A S Henshall 1991

Long cairn, Youkil Hillock. Long low mound with round cairn at S end, set on a steep slope. A round cairn situated at uphill end measures 19 x 18m and 1.3m high. Two horns have been added to the S end. To N the long mound measures 68 x 14m, 0.4m high. Orientation N-S. Visited 1986.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 1541 6546 (34m by 77m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND16NE
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.