MHG5333 - Square Cairn - Storab's Grave, Raasay


A square cairn, known as Storab's Grave. Until later surveys in 1999-2000, this cairn had been recorded as circular in plan.

Type and Period (1)

  • SQUARE CAIRN (Pictish - 300 AD? to 900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NG54SE 1 5609 4166.

(NG 5609 4166) Storab's Grave (NR). (Site of).
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1903)

On the right bank of Allt a Bhraghad at Brae, about 30 yards from the E side of the road some 3 1/2 miles N of Raasay House, is a slight plateau in the angle formed by the burn and a small feeder from the S, on which is a slight circular stony mound 10' in diameter and about 1' in height, with several stones set curblike around the edge. This is known as Storab's Grave, and seems to be a denuded small cairn. According to Seton Gordon is allegedly the grave of Storab, son of a King of Norway, killed whilst on a raiding expedition.
RCAHMS 1928; S Gordon 1950. <1> <2>

'Storab's Grave', a denuded cairn, 3.5m in diameter, 0.3m high, with the remains of a kerb.
It lies 22.0m West of the road, and not East as stated by RCAHMS.
Visited by OS (A S P) 12 June 1961.

The survey of Balachuirn, Balmeanach, Brae, Inbhire (Inver on OS 1:10,000 map) and the surrounding area was carried out by ACFA in April 1996 as part of a continuing programme of recording the physical remains of human activity on the island of Raasay. NG 5609 4165 Mound 6 x 2m, 'Storab?s Grave'. <3> <4>

This known site (NMRS NG 54 SE 1) was looked at in detail in 1999 and again in February and April 2000 by ACFA members. It is situated 25m W of the public road on the rim of the plateau on which the ruined settlement of Brae is located. It is in a very degraded condition and lies outside the modern enclosing fence overlooking the Alt a’Bhraghad. In the past the feature has been reported as being circular in plan but careful survey reveals it to be almost square at 3.4m x 3.7m. The edge of the cairn is defined by a kerb of stones with only the south side indicated by a grassy slope. The cairn is only 0.35m high and is turf and heather covered. Cultivation rigs can be traced all about the cairn outside of the modern fence. This is evidence that an old turf and stone bank once existed around the edge of the plateau, the edge of which is eroding and slipping down the slope into the burn. The cairn itself is now close to the edge and may well follow suit in the future. <5>

This cairn was included in the ACFA's 2004 publication of suveryed cairns on Raasay. It was described as above. The cairn is most probably a square Pictish burial cairn. <6>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NG 5609 4166 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG54SE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish PORTREE

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External Links (2)

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