MHG53080 - Cairns - Loch Borralie West


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • BURIAL CAIRN (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Three cairns:

a) Long oval cairn partly excavated (MacGregor forthcoming), measuring 6.2 m NNW/SSE x 3.7 m, aligned along contour at NC 3792 6760. Two very large boulders along west side, elsewhere 0.6 m high maximum, formed of boulders generally <0.5 m across. Cairn is partly turfed over, but there are several burrows in fabric and turf cover is somewhat thin. Excavated eastern portion is sand under reinstated boulders. Another feature (?later addition/earlier small cairn) extends NE from its E side, upslope - 2.2 m long x 1.6 m wide, with rectilinear boulders forming kerbed edge (See MHG33474)

b) Small flat oval cairn, measuring 3.1 m NE/SW x 2.2 m, aligned down slope. Boulders define clear kerb, while smaller subangular stones generally < 0.2 m across fill interior. Some kerbstones missing on SW arc, possibly rolled downslope, though one large pink basal quartzite stone still marks it. NC 3792 6760 2 m to SE of (a).

c) Oval cairn, 11 m to SE of b), measuring 3.1 m NNE/SSW x 4.1, defined by clear boulder kerb with triangular ?extension 2.1 m long on SSW (lower end). Aligned downslope. Quite flat interior formed of smaller stones - very similar in character to (b). Burrow under one edge. Shows thin turf cover. NC 3793 6759.
On S and W facing limestone terrace, overlooking grassy plain in centre of headland.
Burial cairns, possibly of different phases. Excavation of eastern part of cairn (a) (MacGregor forthcoming) showed it contained two inhumations of different phases. One was radiocarbon dated to 40 cal BC - cal AD 210 (OxA-10253) (See MHG33474). Differences in form and size between the other cairns suggest they may also represent different phases of use. Position overlooking central plateau seems to refer to traces of prehistoric settlement there and in valley to S (zones E and B).
Recommendations: Monitor and control rabbits. <1><2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference NC 3793 6762 (point) Approximate
Map sheet NC36NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

Finds (0)

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Related Investigations/Events (1)

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