MHG652 - Site of Possible Cairn, Gallow Hill


Site of possible late neolithic-bronze age burial cairn. Previous interpretations have said this feature may be a 'Pictish Tower' or it may be natural.

Type and Period (2)

  • CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • (Alternate Type) BROCH (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Mound, Gallow Hill. Diameter: 40m. Mound set on larger circular mound most distinct on S & E sides. No structural traces visible.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

The mound of 'Gallow Hill' is the deeply trenched and disfigured remains of a turf-covered cairn, situated prominently on a false crest. It measures approximately 18m in diameter and 1.5m high.
Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (J B) 15 February 1982

Gallow Hill (NR) (site of) OS 6" map, (1970)

Situated on top of hill, this whin and grass-covered mound has been so mutilated by spoil from a Y-shaped trench cut through it that the limits cannot be defined. The trench reveals a very stony content but no traces of walling can be seen.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 17 February 1965

Gallow Hill (NAT) Tower (NR) OS 6" map, (1960)

The mound known as 'Gallow Hill' is natural (RCAHMS 1911) but OSA (1794) and NSA (1845) state that on top of the hill of Olrig there are evident remains of a watch tower; Morrison calls these the remains of a 'Pictish tower'.
OSA 1794; NSA 1845; H Morrison 1883; RCAHMS 1911

Sir John Sinclair (ed.), 1791-9, The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes, Vol. 12, 163 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2606.

NSA, 1845, The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, Vol. 15, (Caithness), 61 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2597.

Morrison, H, 1883, Tourist's guide to Sutherland and Caithness, 71 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2538.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 89, No. 330 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred ND 1770 6575 (14m by 14m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND16NE
Civil Parish OLRIG
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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