MHG3734 - Cairn Arc


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • CAIRN (Undated)
  • (Alternate Type) BEACON (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Site visit by HC 24/ 02/2004 in response to a proposal to extend Carnach Point as part of a Harbour Revision Order. A linear cleared area extends from the end of the point in a north-westerly direction and a small pile of stones lies c. 40m along this area. This cairn measured approximately 1m diameter and stood less than 0.5m high; it does not apear to be of antiquity. No trace of the line of boulders and large cairn noted by the OS in 1960 could be identified at low tide.
(KC 02/2004)

(NH 6597 4726) Cairn Arc (OE)
OS 6"map, (1938)

"Cairn Arc... This name is applied to an ancient cairn of stones situated near the end of the Breakwater at the mouth of the Ness. In it a post is set to warn approaching vessels fo the danger and hence its name "airc" (Gaelic) meaning danger. The Anglicized form is that now used by the Town Authorities."
Name Book 1868.

"There is at some distance from the mouth of the river Ness, a considerable way within flood mark, a large cairn of stones...It is called Cairnairc, that is, cairn of the sea. There is a beacon erected on Cairnairc, to apprize vessels coming into the river, of danger from it". Three cairns lie west fo Carinairc, in the Beauly Firth. In the most westerly, probably Carn Dubh (NH64NW 4) urns were found.
OSA 1793.

"Many urns and relics were found in these ( Carn-Arc, Carn-Dubh, Redcastle) and tradition has it that the level of this portion was higher of old than now and that the rivers Beauly and Ness ran down as rivers all the way to Fort George".
A Ross 1888.

A line of boulders extends in a north-westerly direction from the breakwater at the mouth of the River Ness for a distance of c. 50m terminating in a low mound of small stones c. 1m high and c. 6m across. This mound would appear to be all that remains of Cairn Airc. The line of boulders leading to the mound no doubt formed an earlier or additional breakwater with the cairn at the end, being utilised as a beacon as mentioned by Name Book 1878 and OSA 1793. The cairn is now in a very ruinous condition.
Visited by OS (W D J) 29 April 1960.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NH 6596 4726 (30m by 30m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH64NE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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