MHG8593 - Cairn with cist burial and possible henge - Carriblair, Edderton


A cairn and cist burial at Carriblair near Edderton. It may also have been a henge.

Type and Period (3)

  • STONE CIRCLE? (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • (Alternate Type) HENGE (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2401 BC?)
  • CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)

Protected Status

Full Description

A cairn and cist burial at Carriblair near Edderton. It may also have been a henge.

NH78NW 1 7090 8511.
Stone Circle (NR) (Remains of) Stone Cist found AD 1866 (NAT)
OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

This stone circle consisted originally of 10 stones of which 5 remain. Its diam 36ft, whole interior at 6ins below present surface is closely paved with round stones, and immediately under these, in the centre, was found a short cist with double cover containing fragments of a highly ornamental urn food vessel (PSAS 1931), pieces of burnt bone and bits of charcoal. <1> <2>
J M Joass 1870; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1931.

The remains of stone circle lie in an area of cleared woodland. Has a probable diameter of some 13m. 5 stones, all on NW half, remain, no stones being visible in SE half of the circle. The largest stone, on NE perimeter, is 1.3m high and 2.8m in circumference. The other roundish boulders have an average height of 0.6m except for one, only 0.2m high. In centre of circle is a rectangular cavity in bottom of which are two thin slab stones set on edge but only 0.4m apart. These stones, and possible remains of a cist, are possibly all that is left of a robbed cairn.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (W D J) 17 May 1963.

(NH 7090 8511) Cairn Circle (NR) OS 25" map, (1969)

The site was Scheduled in 1970.

Four stones visible in dense vegetation are all that remain of what may have been a stone circle.
RCAHMS 1979, visited November 1977. <3>

The remains of this cairn circle are in moderate to poor condition and as described. The interior has been disturbed by tree stumps and SE side has been somewhat obscured by vegetation. The slab on N side of cist has possibly been displaced inwards.
Visited by OS (J B) 27 February 1981.

The cist was photographed by a member of the Highland Council at an unknown date, most likely between 1970-1990. <4> <5> <6>

Solar Symbol Stones at Carriblair. <7>

Suggested that might be henge. Ditch can be traced around part of the monument, but part must lie under the road. The site was visited and photographed by Roland Spencer-Jones of the North of Scotland Archaeological Society on the 14th of January 2014. At this time the cairn was heavily vegetated and overgrown. The upstanding stones were accreted and partially hidden in vegetation. The central cist was also overgrown with moss.The ring of upstanding stones seemed to be bounded by a low bank with the suggestion of a ditch outisde the bank which was best viewed from the east. Due to the vegetation it was difficult to determine if the possible broad ditch encircled the cairn. Spencer-Jones suggested that this was untypical of the other small Scottish henges. <8>

The site was re-scheduled by Historic Environment Scotland in 2016. <9> <10>

GIS spatial data amended in 2017 based on location on OS MasterMap. <11>

A sherd of pottery from a food vessel listed from King Cairns Circle, Cartomie Wood, Edderton in the NMS catalogue could be from this site. Listed under Acc. No. EP 27. <12>

Several food vessel sherds listed from the site were catalogued during an inventory of Dunrobin Castle Museum's collection in 2019 by ARCH. Listed under Acc. No. X83.They are on display in case 26, shelf D. Some sherds are also in one of the cupboards. <13>

Sources/Archives (13)



Grid reference Centred NH 7089 8511 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH78NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish EDDERTON

Finds (2)

  • VESSEL (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • VESSEL (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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