MHG880 - Possible Burial Cairn, Burn of Shebster


Site of possible late neolithic-bronze age burial cairn that may contain evidence of a cist.

Type and Period (1)

  • BURIAL CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

This completely grass-covered cairn measures 24m in diameter by 3.5m in height. No trace could be found of the stones indicating the edge of the cairn, on the S periphery.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R D) 20 November 1981.

This mound is situated on sloping ground immediately S of the Burn of Shebster, so that it is 0.5m high on the S and 2m high on downhill N side; such a sloping site is unusual for a cairn (but see ND06SW 7 and 8). It measures about 20m E-W by 18m transversely, but early modern ploughing has encroached around the rim. There are one or two earthfast blocks around the perimeter, but these are not certainly identifiable as kerb stones. Within the mound towards the W side are two upright slabs at right angles, measuring 0.9 and 0.7m long, and protruding 0.3m high through the turf; the longer slab is aligned NE-SW. It may be the remains of an intrusive peripheral cist.
Visited by OS (N K B) 24 November 1981.

This grassy, stony hillock, 60ft in diameter and 4 1/2ft high, is possibly a cairn, and the extent is marked by stones set on end, protruding a few inches from the turf.
RCAHMS 1911.

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

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, 105, No. 386 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 0126 6351 (16m by 16m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND06SW
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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