MHG3884 - Pictish barrow cemetery - Brin School


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Type and Period (2)

  • SQUARE BARROW (Undated)
  • (Alternate Type) ROUND BARROW (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

A small Pictish barrow cemetery near Brin School, Strathnairn.

The site was surveyed by RCAHMS as part of the Afforestable Land Survey between 20-21 October 1992. On a low gravel ridge in improved pasture above the E bank of the River Nairn, there is a group of ditched barrows, with a length of bank immediately to the SW. The site has suffered considerable disturbance: it has been ploughed over, holes have been dug in some of the barrows, and a trackway, which is marked on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire 1874, sheet xxxi), has run through it from NE to SW. Nevertheless, at least five mounds can be identified. Probing suggests that they are composed of a mixture of earth and stone, but they do not appear to be markedly more stony than the ground around them. Four of the mounds (USN93 200, 202-4) are oval or sub-circular, ranging from 5m to 10m in length and from 4.2m to 8.6m in breadth, and standing up to 0.6m high. The fifth (USN93 201) is rectangular, measuring 8m in length by 4.8m in breadth and 0.75m in height; this is much disturbed, but there is a suggestion that it may consist of two contiguous square mounds, that to the NE being later. With the exception of one barrow which is practically circular (USN93 204), the longer axis in every case lies NE-SW. All but one of the barrows have traces of an enclosing ditch, up to 0.15m in depth; that around the rectangular mound is broken by a causeway at three of its corners, and those around at least two of the oval mounds are also interrupted by causeways. The bank lies just below the SW end of the ridge, running SE-NW for about 22m; there are traces of a ditch on its NE side and it turns to the SW at either end, suggesting that it formed the NE end of a rectangular enclosure. (USN93 200-4)
Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) 21 October 1992. <1> <2>

A proposal for re-scheduling was received from Historic Scotland for comment in September 2006. <3>

The site was re-scheduled by Historic Scotland with effect from 07/02/2008.

The site is included in a broad discussion of Pictish cemeteries in Inverness-shire, Moray and Aberdeenshire. Brin School sits on the eastern bank of the River Nairn on a low ridge and comprises five barrows. The cemetery contains both square and circular mounds up to 10 m in diameter and up to 0.6 m in height. <4>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NH 6629 2898 (102m by 101m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH62NE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (3)

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