MHG9513 - Cairn with Cist - Learable Hill


No summary available.

Type and Period (4)

  • BURIAL CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • CIST (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • CREMATION (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • BURIAL (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

Full Description

NC82SE 9 8922 2351.

('A' : NC 89262350 'B' : NC 89232352 'C' : NC 89222351) Cairns (NR).
OS 6" map, (1962)

'A' : a cairn 31' in diameter and 2' to 3' high.
'B' : a low circular cairn about 20' in diameter and 2' high, its outline defined by almost contiguous boulders, 1' to 1 1/2' long, protruding to a height of 6" to 8".
'C' : a cairn about 42' in diameter; its outline defined by almost contiguous boulders, 2' to 3' long, protruding to a height of 1'. Near the centre lies the covering slab of a cist, which during excavation of the cairn before 1886 was found to contain a burnt interment and jet beads. Close beside one of the peripheral stones an inverted cinerary urn was found covering a deposit of human bones among which lay a Middle Bronze Age bronze razor. This probably represents a secondary deposit in the cairn. The razor, beads and urn are in Dunrobin Museum. There are many probable field clearance heaps in the area and the RCAHMS (RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909) also note 'low irregular mounds which have the appearance of banks of old enclosures'. The distances of the cairns in relation to the standing stone (NC 82 SE 1) are erroneous.
J Anderson 1886; C M Piggott 1944; J M Coles 1964; Visited by OS (W D J) 29 May 1961

Of the three aforementioned cairns ('A' - 'C') situated on a prominent spur, 'C' is as described. The cinerary urn is still in Dunrobin Museum (Accession no 1870-2), but the beads and the MBA razor were not seen. The alleged cairns 'A' and 'B' occur within an area of scattered field clearance heaps (see NC 82 SE 16), 'A' being larger than most of the heaps. Neither exhibits any "cairn-like" features; the outline of boulders around 'B' appears to be a fortuitous arrangement. All heaps are heather-covered. On balance it seems more likely that 'A' and 'B' are clearance heaps rather than cairns.
Visited by OS (J B) 7 Feburary 1977

This cairn is situated on the SE spur of Learable Hill some 30m W of the cross-incised standing stone (MHG9321). The cairn measures 11.8m in diameter and stands 0.8m in height and a number of kerbstones survive in situ on the E, S and W. The interior has been excavated, but not back-filled, leaving a large hole, into which a flat stone has been tipped. The area surrounding the cairn is covered with small cairns (MHG59030) and there is a stone row to the N (MHG9516).
(KILD91 430)
Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 6 June 1991.

The cairn and central cist are visible on aerial photography taken 1999-2001 and 2009. <1> <2>

GIS spatial data crated 2018 based on OS Master Map. <3>

The urn was catalogued during an inventory of Dunrobin Castle Museum's collection in 2019 by ARCH. Listed under Acc. No. 1870.2. It is on display in case 27, shelf D. The razor said to be in the museum was not located but jet fragments found in one of the cupboards (ARC 349) could potentially be from the jet necklace said to be in the museum. A photograph of the urn was taken by M Sharpe. <4>

Sources/Archives (9)



Grid reference Centred NC 8923 2351 (15m by 15m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC82SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish KILDONAN

Finds (4)

  • URN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • RAZOR (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • BEAD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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