MHG40383 - Clearance cairns, Carn Na Caillich


Ten clearance cairns associated with a hut circle.

Type and Period (2)

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC to 560 AD)
  • CLEARANCE CAIRN (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Centred on 9097 4355

At NH 9098 4360 is a circular stone-walled hut measuring c. 11.5m in diameter between the centres of a wall spread to c. 2.5m. The E arc is denuded and the entrance is not evident.
Surveyed at 1/10,000 scale.
Around the hut and to the SE, partly concealed by peat and deep heather, is an area of stone clearance heaps, a few lynchets and walls of contemporary cultivation plots.
About 600m SE of the hut, on the opposite bank of a stream, is another area of stone clearance heaps.
Visited by OS (R L) 20 January 1971.

The stone clearance or small cairns about 600m SE of the hut-circle are described under NH94SW 23.
Infromation from RCAHMS (PMcK) 1 March 1996

This hut-circle, together with an area of small cairns to the SE (NMRS MS 738/28, no.5), were recorded during the course of a pre-afforestation survey by AOC (Scotland) Ltd. The visible remains lie within a clearing in the forestry plantation on a N spur of Carn na Caillich and original extent of the small cairns has been reduced by planting. The hut-circle measures 11m in diameter overall and is defined by low embanked walls 0.6m wide and less than 0.3m high. Previously described as incomplete on the E side, the hut-circle was found to be D-shaped with the E side formed by a chord of the projected circumference.
Ten cairns are dispersed across the adjacent open ground of the clearing. They are low features up to 4m wide but seldom more than 0.5m high. An embanked linear feature in the SE angle of the clearing may be a remnant field-bank or simply a linear clearance cairn.
J O'Sullivan and D Rankin, AOC (Scotland) Ltd, December 1995; NMRS MS 738/28

The above report notes that the hut circle and cairns are remnants of a larger site and that the number and extent of the cairns have now been reduced by planting. The cairns are thought to represent ground clearance and the hut circle appears to have been an isolated, unenclosed, settlement occupying an associated area of improved or tilled ground. The site is situated at over 290m OD, close to the upper limit at which such settlements generally occur in Highland. <1>

NH 915 425 (centre) A pre-afforestation survey at Coulmony/Carn na Caillich, on the River Findhorn, was commissioned by Historic Scotland in response to management proposals by Cawdor Estate, and was conducted by AOC (Scotland) Ltd in November 1995.
NH 9097 4355 Hut circle and cairns (NH 94 SW 4).
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
AOC (Scotland) Ltd 1996. <2>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 90973 43554 (85m by 63m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH94SW
Civil Parish ARDCLACH
Geographical Area NAIRN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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