MHG4110 - Cairns - Suisnish, Raasay


A group of possible heather covered cairns. One has been cut by the railway giving an exposed section face.

Type and Period (2)

  • CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • (Alternate Type) CLEARANCE CAIRN (Unknown date)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Immediately to the E of the tramway to the iron mines on the island of Raasay, c. 500 yards NE of the pier at Suisnish, on a heather-covered, gently sloping hillside, 200ft OD, is a group of four small stone cairns buried in peat. The largest cairn, which lies 100ft from the tramway, is 18ft in diameter and 3ft in height; 11 yards to the SE is the smallest, 12ft in diameter and c. 2ft in height; 30 yards ENE is the third, 14ft in diameter and 2ft in height, and about the same distance to the N is the fourth, 16ft in diameter and 2ft in height. As this last cairn encroaches on the line of the tramway a narrow trench has been cut through it near the edge, showing that the mound is formed entirely of stones without any admixture of soil, and is covered with a growth of peat 1ft thick. About 100 yards to the E, beyond a slight ridge, on both sides of a hollow, is a larger group of similar cairns. At least 10 can be counted, several of them in pairs about 9ft apart. They measure from 14 to 16ft in diameter and from 2 to 2 1/2ft in height.
RCAHMS 1928, visited 22 May 1914.

Probable field clearance heaps.
Visited by OS 29 June 1961.

These cairns were noted at NG55760 34833 in the ACFA's 2004 publication of their surveys of cairns on Raasay. They are as described by RCAHMS 1928, one noteably for having been cut by the railway in 1914-15. It was described as a sub- circular cairn, 3.5m across from N-S and 4.5m long E-W, standing to a height of 1.5m. It uniquely shows its compositions and covering blanket of peaty soil due to being cut by the railway trench, which showed composition of rounded boulders upto 0.4-0.4m in diameter. The peat covering was 0.35m thick. A number of other similar soil and heather covered were also noted, but no chambers, cists or large orthostatic stones were apparent or any evidence amongst the stones of surrounding surfaces of disturbance of artefacts. <1>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NG 5587 3485 (228m by 206m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG53SE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish PORTREE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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.