MHG363 - Chambered Cairn, Camas nan Geall


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

Chambered Cairn (NR) (remains of)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1974)
The chambered cairn is situated in a dramatic location in the centre of an arable field, facing the sea to the W and surrounded elsewhere by steep slopes.

The chamber, façade and cairn are as described in 1972 (RCAHMS, 1980, 45) All the stones referred to in the RCAHMS entry remain in situ. A house pertaining to the Camas Nan Geall township (SMR NM56SE0007) lies only 2m to the SW of the chamber.
Field Verification Project (West Lochaber) - J Robertson, 03/2004
Chambered Cairn, Camas nan Geall: This cairn stands within a level arable field at the head of the bay known as Camas nan Geall. Most of the cairn, which was aligned roughly NW and SE, has been destroyed, but parts of the chamber and facade still survive. In only two places does any cairn material remain, firstly at the NE horn of the facade, where it is up to 1m in height, and secondly between the SW side of the chamber and the adjacent township-building. The tip of the horn of the facade is marked by a stone (0.8m high and 1.1m by 0.3m at the base) set at right angles both to the end of the facade and to the outer edge of the cairn on the NE. The cairn material at the end of the horn has, however, been destroyed by a farm track. Two other stones of this half of the facade remain, one lying prone and the other measuring 2.1m in height, 1.75m in breadth and up to 0.5m in thickness at the base. Another fallen facade-stone lies between the S portal and the later building. If the stones of the facade had been symmetrically disposed, it seems likely that it was originally semicircular on plan, measuring about 18m across and 10m in depth.
The chamber is entered between a pair of impressive portal stones, the SW stone standing to a height of 1.5m; the two remaining side-slabs are 1m and 1.4m in height, but the capstone has slipped off and rests against the SW side-slab. At the present time the chamber measures 1.8m in length and about 1.2m in breadth, but there is no doubt that it originally extended further to the NW; several massive stones, which may have formed part of the chamber or the facade, have been used in the construction of the near-by buildings.
A S Henshall 1972, visited 1962; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1972.

The remains of this Clyde-type chambered cairn were in a condition generally similar to that described above when seen in 1970.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (N K B) 8 June 1970

A largely destroyed chambered cairn is sited here. These monuments are generally considered to belong to the neolithic period and to date approximately between 3000 and 2000 BC. They are usually taken to indicate the prescence of farming communities in contrast to the nomadic settlements of the mesolithic period. This site is excluded from the SSSI. This has been a desk assessment area.
J Wordsworth, Scottish Natural Heritage, 1993

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NM 5606 6194 (10m by 8m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM56SE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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