MHG776 - Footprint, Lorg an Fhamhair


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Type and Period (1)

  • FOOTPRINT (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

(Name: ND 0585 5927) Lorg an Fhamhair (NAT)
OS 6"map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

On the W end of the summit of the hill of Port-an-eilein, about 1/2 to 3/4 mile NE of Shurrery church, is a flat, exposed rock-surface measuring 10ft square. Towards N end, near the medial line, there has been hollowed out the impression of a human left foot. It is exactly 12ins in length, 6ins in breadth across the sole and 4.5ins across the heel, while the depth of the impression is about 1.25ins. The artificial character of mark is quite obvious. The rock on which it is carved is said to have been called 'Clach na Luirg'. Visited by RCAHMS in 1910. <1>

ND 0582 5930. This feature, described above, would appear to be a natural cavity in the shape of a human foot.
Visited by OS (J L D) 12 April 1962.

Incised human feet on rocks are ancient, well-authenticated and widespread; examples are recorded in Ireland and Western Isles down to 16th century. Kings are said to have placed their feet in these impressions when being crowned or while holding court. Visited by J R C Hamilton in 1966. <2>

Lorg an Fhamhair applies to a section of shelving rock with the foot-shaped impression correctly described by RCAHMS on the upper surface. This mark is well formed but may be the result of weathering though a study of other rocks in the vicinity does not show any weathering similarities.
Visited by OS (J M) 31 June 1981.

FE Management Plan received 30/03/01.
J Aitken : 30/03/01.

The footprint was photographed by D Glass in June 2010.

<1> 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, 44, No. 162 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

<2> Hamilton, J R C, 1966, Forts, brochs and wheel-houses in Northern Scotland, 124 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3180.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 0582 5930 (6m by 6m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND05NE
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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