MHG786 - Possible Cairn, Cnoc an Ratha


Site of possible late neolithic-bronze age burial cairn.

Type and Period (1)

  • CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

This does not appear to be an enclosure but rather a heather-covered cairn, 8m NW-SE by 7m transversely and 0.6m high, although badly mutilated by forestry ploughing. There is a trench extending through SW sector to a central excavation hollow, in the sides of which slabs laid flat are exposed. This does not appear to be the remains of a corbelled wall as suggested by the RCAHMS, but core material exposed in the later digging.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (N K B) 15 September 1981.

Undescribed circular feature shown.
OS 6"map, (1963)

This structure has been adequately described by RCAHM, and the internal wall (1.8m diameter at base) does tend to corbel upwards. The thickness of the enclosing wall at base is 3.2m; it is 0.6m high. It could be a 'bee-hive' hut, although it is not unlike small kilns seen elsewhere.
Visited by OS (J L D) 10 April 1962.

Supposed Remains of (NAT) Watch Tower (NR)
OS 6"map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

Within interior of fort (ND05NE 2) at SW angle, some 15ft back from the wall, are the remains of an enclosure, some 25ft in diameter over all, with an entrance in SE. In interior the wall is visible for a height of about 1.5ft and suggests a 'bee-hive' structure. There appear to be two small chambers, about 5ft in diameter, to right and left of end of entrance passage, but plan is not clear.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910

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, 97, No. 355 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 0521 5772 (14m by 14m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND05NE
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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