MHG8715 - Chambered Long Cairn - Carn Liath


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Type and Period (1)

  • CHAMBERED LONG CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

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Full Description

NH77NW 10 7298 7980.
Carn Liath (NAT) OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

Situated on SW facing slopes of Beinn nan Gearrean is a massive, featureless, long cairn of bare rubble stone aligned NE-SW with its long axis running down the hill, so that its length has probably been increased by spill. It is 35m long, 14m wide at NE end and 8m wide at SW end and has a maximum height of 2m near NE end.
A number of hollows excavated on top of cairn appear to be only superficial or the results of attempted excavation and do not reveal any interesting feature, and cairn remains intact largely despite probable robbing for nearby buildings, now deserted, one of which has its NW corner actually built onto SE side of cairn.
Visited by OS (R D L) 20 May 1963.

‘The cairn is aligned NE-SW across the slope with the wider end uphill. The cairn is aligned except for vegetation encroaching along the edges. The plan of the cairn is trapezoidal, about 120 ft long, about 45 ft wide at the NE end and about 27 ft wide at the SW end. Various hollows have been made in the surface but no internal structure is visible. The maximum height, about 25 ft from the NE end, is about 6 ft. The edges along the NE side have been considerably disturbed and are overgrown with bracken. Several walls have been built to abut the SE site of the cairn, and further obscure the precise plan.’ <1>

Kinnes 1992 cites this as one of four non-Megalithic long barrows in the Highlands, all in SE Sutherland. One near Lairg (MHG11986) is probably a modern spoil heap. None have been excavated. <2>

Photographs of the cairn were forwarded to the HER in October 2010. <3>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 7299 7981 (74m by 73m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH77NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish TAIN

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