MHG3942 - Ring cairn - Tordarroch, Strathnairn, Inverness


A Clava Ring Cairn 7km south of Inverness.

Type and Period (1)

  • RING CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

Full Description

(NH 6801 3350) Stone Circle {NR}
OS 6"map, Inverness, 2nd ed., (1905)

Tordarroch: A ring cairn now crossed by a drainage ditch on the E and a wall on the SW. Though greatly ruined it can be seen that the monument has been particularly impressive, covering a larger area and employing more massive stones than usual. Few of the stones remain standing, but many of them have fallen inwards or outwards and have not been disturbed, and the only considerable gap in the circle is on the north side. A large prone slab measuring 5 ft. by 6 ft. on the S.W. side opposite the tallest monolith is marked with thirty-three or thirty-four cup-marks. The slab appears to have fallen outwards from the kerb. If this is so the cupmarks must have faced inwards and been hidden by cairn material. The stone was already in its present position in 1881 before the wall which now crosses it had been built. The interior of the cairn has been removed and the ground is greatly disturbed. In 1879 five stones were visible in the centre.
There have been nine monoliths encircling the cairn; seven of the stones remain upright. One fallen stone remains over its original position to the NE and another stone was recorded by Fraser (J Fraser 1884) on the SW side, but it has since been removed. Many large stones lie about the site. A S Henshall 1963, visited 8 April 1957; J Fraser 1884; W Jolly 1882.

The remains of this ring cairn are as described above.
Resurveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (W D J) 10 September 1963.

Surveyed in 1989 as part of a survey of lands around Tardarroch, Daviot and Dunlichty to identify and map archaeological monuments threatened by the proposed afforestation scheme. See report. <1>

This ring-cairn is situated in low-lying ground in the corner of an improved field. It measures 20m in diameter, within a kerb of stones up to 1.3m in height. The N arc has been destroyed and the centre of the cairn has been much disturbed and denuded of stone. On the SW there is a flat slab, whose upper surface measures 1.8m by 1.5m; it bears at least 36 cup-marks measuring up to 75mm across and 25mm deep, with one oblong cup measuring 100mm long by 75mm broad. Around the cairn, at a distance of 7m from it, there is a circle of monoliths; eight stones remain, one, on the WSW, having fallen. The tallest stone is on the SW, measuring 2.25m in height.
(USN93 212-13)
Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) 5 November 1992.

Description: A ring cairn located 7km south of Inverness in Strathnairn near the Village of Farr. Unlike most of the kerbstones, only one of the ten circle stones of the ring cairn had fallen and they showed the usual grading in height towards the southwest. A fallen kerbstone with cupmarks carved into veins of quartz was directly in line with the tallest circle stone and the cairns centre. This stone had fallen outwards, meaning that when upright, the cupmarks would have faced into the centre of the cairn. <2>

The site was visited and photographed by Douglas Scott on the 29th of June 2003. <2>

Aerial drone photography of the site was undertaken by M Ritchie on 24/08/2023. <3>

Note - see MHG63202 for cup marked stone. (T.Blackie 4/4/2024)

Sources/Archives (8)



Grid reference Centred NH 6801 3350 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH63SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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