MHG9014 - Carn Glas Chambered Cairn - KILLEARNAN
Restored chambered Cairn, Carn Glas, KILLEARNAN
Type and Period (1)
- CHAMBERED CAIRN (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)
NH55SE 6 5784 5206.
Carn Glas (OE) OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)
Carn Glas (Kilcoy I)
This chambered cairn of Camster type ( i.e. Orkney-Cromarty, rectangular, round) has been very much reduced by the removal of stone. When excavated by Woodham in 1955 (AA Woodham and MF Woodham 1959) it measured some 70 ft dia. And outer part of the passage had been destroyed to remain only as N wall of one boulder and S wall of two stones - this surviving part being 4 ft. long and 2 ft. 3 ins wide at outer end. The bi-partite chamber is 9 ft. long and 4 to 5 ft. Wide; entrance to each compartment is between a pair of transverse slabs 1 ft. 3 ins to 2 ft. 6 ins. High - each with a flat sill stone between. The chambers are composed of single slabs each about 2 ft.9 ins high but the pointed end stone is 5 ft.3 ins, high. Relics included secondary Neolithic and Beaker pottery, a leaf-shaped and a barbed arrowhead; this would seem to imply 2 successive burials or periods of burial with interval between being indeterminate.
A A Woodham 1956; A S Henshall 1963; R W Feachem 1963. <1>-<3>
Carn Glas, a bracken and whin covered chambered cairn, now 1.1m high, is as described above. The chamber, 1m deep, is partially filled with rubble stones.
Re-surveyed at 1/2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 21 January 1965.
No change. Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 3 March 1989.
Photographs of this cairn have been submitted by a member of the public. It is described as being almost totally covered with whin bushes. <4>
A visitor to the HER website contacted us in September 2008 expressing concern over the condition of this site and access difficulties, due to it being encircled with barbed wire and completely covered in gorse and broom. The comments have been referred to Historic Scotland. <5>
Carn Glas was visited by members of NOSAS, ARCH and North Kessock & District Local History Society on the 15th and 19th of February 2014 to remove vegetation and debris from the stones of the cairn surrounding the central chambers. Three photographs were submitted of the site by Graham Clark of ARCH at the time. Following permission from Historic Scotland, subsequent work with the Adopt-a-Monument team to clean and restore the interior of the chambers occurred during site visits on three separate occasions from November 2014 to September 2015. Work inside the chambers included cleaning the upstanding stones, removing accreted debris from the chamber floors and restoring a significant side stone that had fallen into the ante-chamber. No new artefactual remains were identified. The newly restored cairn was officially ‘opened’ in a small ceremony on 12 October 2015. <6>
The NMS catalogue lists a barbed and tanged flint arrowhead (Acc. No. EQ 345), a leaf shaped flint arrowhead (EO 962) and a trough quern (EO 1116), from the site. The quern is described as an irregularly oval boulder of stone or coarse mica schist with a well defined trough. <7>
Human remains from the site are with NMS collections. <8>
After 1956 Carn Glas was neglected and by the new millennium it had become so extensively covered in gorse and accreted vegetation that the chamber was almost impossible to reach. The invading overgrowth prompted members of ARCH, NoSAS and NK&DLHS to take action to halt further deterioration and dilapidation of the structure.
Funds were obtained from Archaeology Scotland’s Adopt-a-Monument scheme for the joint community project that has now re-instated the burial chamber as an outstanding Neolithic monument and as a visitor attraction. A new information board has also been erected on the site. It features text written by Dr Alison Sheridon, Senior Neolithic Curator at the NMS, and a commissioned sketch by Eric Allan, President of Inverness Art Society, of how the cairn might have looked after it was built about 3600 BC. <9>
Carn Glas Chambered Cairn
Condition Survey and Excavation
NH 5784 5206 Three local community heritage groups collaborated with two members of Archaeology Scotland’s Adopt-a-Monument scheme to restore and prepare for public engagement a neglected Neolithic Orkney-Cromarty chambered cairn. The individuals involved were:
• Roland Spencer-Jones - North of Scotland Archaeological Society
• Graham Clarke - Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands
• Alasdair Cameron - North Kessock & District Local History Society
• Phil Richardson and Fiona Watson – the Adopt-a-Monument programme, Archaeology Scotland
Carn Glas is one of six Neolithic cairns on the Mulbuie ridge at the base of the Black Isle. It was excavated first by Lord Abercromby in 1906 and then by Anthony Woodham in two seasons, 1955-6. After 1956 the excavated cairn was left open, and not backfilled. In subsequent years the inner chambers had become severely vegetated and overgrown. Three individuals, representatives of three local heritage groups, in late 2014 took on the task of restoring the cairn to the condition in which it had been left by Dr Woodham.
Clearing the vegetation on the cairn was undertaken by members of the three organisations in February 2014. Following permission from Historic Scotland, subsequent work with the Adopt-a-Monument team to clean and restore the interior of the chambers occurred during site visits on three separate occasions from November 2014 to September 2015. The newly restored cairn was officially “opened” in a small ceremony on 12 October 2015, attended by over 60 members of the public, as well as Dr Alison Sheridan of National Museums of Scotland and Colin Woodham, son of the 1950s excavator. Work inside the chambers included cleaning the upstanding stones, removing accreted debris from the chamber floors and restoring a significant side stone that had fallen into the ante-chamber. No new artefactual remains were identified. The chamber floors were then covered with chipped stones, and a new display board erected on the edge of the cairn. <10>
- --- Text/Publication/Article: Close-Brooks, J. 1984. ''Some early querns'', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 113 1983, p.282-9. Proc Soc Antiq Scot. 282-9. 284.
- --- Text/Publication/Article: Woodham and Woodham, A A and M F. 1959. 'The excavation of a chambered cairn at Kilcoy, Ross-shire', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 90 1956-7, p.102-15. Proc Soc Antiq Scot. 102-15. 102-15.
- --- Text/Report: RCAHMS. 1979. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of the Black Isle, Ross and Cromarty District, Highland Region. . 7, No. 6.
- --- Text/Publication/Volume: Henshall, A. S. & Ritchie, J. N. G. 2001. The Chambered Cairns of the Central Highlands: An Inventory of the Structures and Their Contents. pp. 143-6.
- --- Text/Publication/Article: Woodham, A A. 1955. 'Cairn Glas, Kilcoy', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1955, p.26-7. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 26-7. 23.
- --- Text/Publication/Article: Woodham, A. A.. 1956. A survey of prehistoric monuments in the Black Isle. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol. 88 (1953-55). 65-93. p 68.
- <1> Text/Publication/Article: Woodham, A A. 1956. 'Cairn Glas, Kilcoy', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1956, p.23. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 23. 26-7.
- <2> Text/Publication/Monograph: Henshall, A S. 1963. The chambered tombs of Scotland, Volume 1. 342-3, ROS 12; plan, 341, fig. 77.
- <3> Text/Publication/Volume: Feachem, R W. 1963. A Guide to Prehistoric Scotland. 1st. 58.
- <4> Image/Photograph(s): Member of public. 2008. Carn Glas Chambered Cairn. Colour. Yes. Digital.
- <5> Text/Correspondence: Private individual. 2008-11. Feedback from website visitor. Yes. Digital. 23-09-2008.
- <6> Text/Publication/Article: Spencer-Jones, R. et al. 2015. 'Carn Glas, Survey and excavation', Discovery Excav Scot, New, vol. 16, 2015. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 105-6. Online. pp. 105-6.
- <7> Dataset/Database File: National Museums Scotland. 2019. Highland Finds from the NMS Catalogue. National Museums Scotland. Digital. EQ 345, EO 962, EO 1116.
- <8> Dataset/Database File: 2020. Database of Human Remains in Museum Collections from Highland Area. NMS, IMAG & Marishal College. Digital.
- <9> Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Spencer-Jones, R.. 2015. Report on the Restoration of Carn Glas, a Neolithic Chambered Cairn, 2014-2015. North of Scotland Archaeological Society. Digital.
- <10> Text/Correspondence: Spencer-Jones, R.. 2014. Condition Survey and Excavation, Carn Glas Chambered Cairn. North of Scotland Archaeology Society (NOSAS). Yes. Digital.
|Grid reference||Centred NH 5783 5206 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)|
|Geographical Area||ROSS AND CROMARTY|
- BEAKER (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
- LEAF ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
- BARBED AND TANGED ARROWHEAD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
- SHERD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
- QUERN (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2401 BC?)
- HUMAN REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Investigations/Events (0)
External Links (2)
- http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/SM3213 (Online designation description (Historic Environment Scotland))
- https://canmore.org.uk/site/12837 (View HES Canmore entry for this site)
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