MHG3361 - Pictish barrow cemetery - Garbeg


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • CAIRN (Pictish to Early Medieval - 300 AD to 1057 AD)
  • BARROW CEMETERY (Pictish to Early Medieval - 300 AD to 1057 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Centred at NH 5110 3222 is a group of seventeen heather-covered cairns, each surrounded by a circular ditch. They are inconspicuously placed on the edge of a field system (NH53SW 11) on ground which, because of its rough appearance, seems not to have been cultivated. A hut circle ('B' of NH53SW 11) occurs on the W edge of the group.
With the exception of 'A' the cairns vary in diameter between 7.4m and 4.0m between the centres of the ditches, and between 0.5m and 0.8m in height and are generally flat-topped. The ditch of 'B' is 0.9m wide and 0.3m deep and in all the others is 0.6m wide and 0.3m deep. 'A', the largest, is only 0.2m high and measures 8.5m in diameter between the centres of a ditch which is interrupted by a causeway, c.2.0m wide, in the SE. 'E', 'F' and 'G' are mutilated. Joining the SW arc of 'C' is a ditch of the same dimen- sions enclosing a level area c.4.5m square, and joining the SW arc of 'D' is a similar ditch enclosing a sub- rectangular area measuring about 12.0m by c.5.0m with a dividing cross-ditch. Their purpose is uncertain but they appear to be contemporary with the cairns. Enlargement at 1/500 scale.
Survey at 1/10,000 scale.
Visited by OS (R L) 25 Feburary 1970

The centre of cairn 'H' was dug into and a fragment of sandstone slab bearing part of a crescent and V-rod incised symbol (now in Inverness Museum) was identified immediately under the turf in the centre. Subsequently the cairn was subject to an excavation by Wedderburn, proving the ditch to be circular.
Wedderburn (L Wedderburn, Inverness Museum) has also partially excavated cairn 'J'. This has proved to be square. At each corner is a small upright boulder. The four sides are marked by shallow ditches all stopping short of the corner stones. Centrally placed in the interior is a rectangular area delineated by contiguous stones, apparently formerly on edge, c. 6' x 3', with the centre filled with rubble stones. There are possibly indications of a ditch joining the NE corner with cairn 'H', but this has not yet been proved. Wedderburn asserts that there are more cairns in this group but although there are one or two suspicious humps in the vicinity of the 17 already recorded, the only other one that can be definitely identified is in isolation, 82.0m N of hut circle 'B'. This appears as a stony mound 3.5m in diameter and 0.4m high, placed centrally on a circular platform 0.1m high, surrounded by a slight ditch 7.8m in diameter between its centres. The WSW arc has been destroyed by a track which cuts through it. There is no associated enclosure wall as stated by Wedderburn. The walls he refers to are part of a pattern of field walls apparently contemporary with the field system, and the enclosure formed by these walls in which the group of cairns occurs measures c. 250.0m NE-SW by 120.0m NW-SE.
There is no evidence to indicate that the remains of the agriculture (denoted by stone clearance heaps) within this enclosure is contemporary with the cairns.
Visited by OS (A A) 1 November 1974

Class I symbol stone showing a crescent and V-rod with ? An elephant's antenna.
A.Mack 1997 p.110

Sources/Archives (15)



Grid reference Centred NH 5110 3227 (106m by 161m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH53SW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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.