MHG467 - Kerb Cairn, Claggan


Site of late neolithic-bronze age kerb cairn.

Type and Period (1)

  • KERB CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The three adjoining kerb-cairns survive as they were left after excavation in 1974. (Ritchie and Thornber, 1974-5, 19-22; RCAHMS, 1980,54-4) Cairn 1 retains its kerb-stones.
Field Verification Project (West Lochaber) - J Robertson, 03/2004

Cairn (NR)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

This group of three kerb-cairns was excavated by the RCAHMS in 1973 and 1974.
The best-preserved cairn (1 on plan, q.v.), measures 5m in diameter and still retains the majority of its twenty kerb-stones. At the centre an irregular ring of boulders enclosed a deposit of cremated bones and charcoal; between the ring and the kerb there was a lay of gravel, up to 0.2m in thickness, and these features were subsequently covered by stones. A radio-carbon date of 975 bc +/- 50 was obtained from analysis of the charcoal associated with the cremation deposit.
Cairn 2, which abuts the first one on the SW, measures about 5.25m in diameter and before excavation stood to a height of about 0.5m. The kerb-stones and the cairn material had been considerably disturbed, and no trace was found of any burial deposit. The original ground surface beneath the cairn had been subjected to burning and two radio-carbon dates of 462 bc +/- 55 and 586 bc +/- 80 were obtained from this layer. Cairn 3, situated on the N side of the other two, had been severely robbed, but sufficient survived to show that it has measured about 2m in diameter. A grave-pit had been dug into the natural gravel at the centre of the cairn adn this was found to contain a deposit of cremated bones and charcoal; analysis of the charcoal provided a radio-carbon date of 1058 bc +/- 40.
Apart from a number of unworked spalls of flint, the only finds were a small flint flake from cairn 1 and a tiny blade fragment from cairn 2. They were donated to the NMAS.
J N G Ritchie and I Thornber 1977; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1977; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1974.

Not a graveyard but a cairn situated on the flood plain of the River Aline. It measure c. 10.0m in diameter and survives to c. 0.5m high, but is overlaid by clearance. In the SW arc are four contiguous kerb stones, 0.8m high, and to the SE of centre is an upright slab, oriented NW-SE, and measuring 0.7m high and 0.8m long.
Despite the fact that this is clearly a prehistoric burial cairn, there is a tradition locally that there have been burials here within the last 150 years.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (NKB) 15 June 1970.

Old Grave Yard (NAT)
OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1900)

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NM 6978 4930 (80m by 80m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NM64NE
Civil Parish MORVERN
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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