MHG798 - Probable Cairn, Sithean Harraig


Site of probable late neolithic-bronze age burial cairn. Past interpretations favoured the identification of this feature as a broch.

Type and Period (2)

  • CAIRN (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)
  • (Alternate Type) BROCH? (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Still visible as earthwork from road - HAW 7/2003

'Broch'/cairn, 'Suthean Harraig'. Diameter: 25m. Circular heather-covered mound with a flat top, diameter 8m. There is no evidence of a kerb or other structural traces.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

Sithean Harraig as described by previous OS field surveyor is confirmed as a cairn rather than a broch. It occupies a prominent yet non-defensive position on a ridge, and retains classic bowl-shape, though now somewhat truncated. There is no trace of wall faces (of a broch) and no evidence of outer defences.
Visited by OS (N K B) 16 September 1981

Sithean Harraig (NAT) Cairn (NR) OS 6"map, (1963)

A flat-topped, mutilated mound of turf-covered stones. About 22m diameter and 2.5m high; top of mound is about 9m in diameter. A small excavation on top reveals a mass of stone, and nearby are two small stones set on edge. It is possible that this is a cairn rather than a broch.
Visited by OS (W D J) 9 April 1962.

Broch, Sithean Harraig: On E side of road to Thurso, about 1/2 mile N of Scotscalder station, are remains of broch known as 'Shean Harraig'. The mound covering ruin has been quarried into to some extent on S side. It has a diameter over all of about 76ft and an elevation of 8ft. No measureable part of the structure is exposed. RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

Sithean Harraig (NR) OS 6"map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

ND05 1 SCOTSCALDER ('Sithean Harraig')
ND/0964 5686
Possible broch or cairn in Halkirk, Caithness, consisting of a mound of turf-covered stones about 23.2m (76ft) in dia-meter. No masonry is exposed and the site is more likely to be a cairn [1].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 05 NE 30: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 35, no. 113: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 647. <1>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 0963 5686 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND05NE
Civil Parish HALKIRK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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