MHG39189 - Kerb Cairn and Shieling - Doire Domhain


A kerb cairn, likely later reused as a shieling.

Type and Period (2)

  • KERB CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • SHIELING? (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

In 1997, features were observed and briefly noted in a survey by the ACFA, under the crags to the north of the settlement of Doire Domhain. The area they were identified at was a flattish terrace of land, 250m by 100m at its widest at an elevation of 130-140 OD. It was dominated by a 30m high rocky scarp along its eastern side and fell away steeply towards the shore on the western side. The whole area has a grand panorma from the southwest to the northwest over the Sound of Raasay snd the Isle of Skye. The area contained four roughly circular features set among extensive rig and furrow with two field banks on the south side with a third running north to south on each side of the precipitous scarp. The whole area is grass covered with much heather and is nearly always wet.

The first feature recorded from this area in the ACFA's 2004 publication of surveyed cairns on Raasay was a probable kerb cairn. It was oval shaped, and measured 12m long E-W and 10m wide N-S with the rocky escarpment immediately east. An outer oval of stones measured 10m E-W but narrower, 8m from N-S. This oval was more defined to the north and west where for a short length the stones appeared as a double row. An inner oval of stones measured 7m E-W and 5m N-S, and was again better preserved on the north side where the two rings were 0.9m apart. Inside the inner ring there were the possible remains of an interal division of stones aligned N-S and two stones indicative of two sides of a small possible cist. The structure was devoid of cairn material either in or around the feature.

It was believed that the feature is the remains of a kerb cairn that has (as commonly with many such remains on Raasay) had a shieling built on it at a later date, and 20m to the south and stretching for over 100m, were two earth and stone field banks, with a third bank running southwards from the point where the rocky scarp peters out, that may have been associated. A cairn in close proximity must have provided material for the building of these banks. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 5557 4454 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG54SE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish PORTREE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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.