Ancient Monuments

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Kirkstones,settlement 1650m SSW of Stroupster

A Scheduled Monument in Wick and East Caithness, Highland

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Latitude: 58.5655 / 58°33'55"N

Longitude: -3.1593 / 3°9'33"W

OS Eastings: 332660

OS Northings: 964746

OS Grid: ND326647

Mapcode National: GBR L6K2.X35

Mapcode Global: WH6CV.FYTZ

Entry Name: Kirkstones,settlement 1650m SSW of Stroupster

Scheduled Date: 7 February 1989

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4636

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: settlement, including deserted, depopulated and townships

Location: Wick

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wick and East Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness


The monument appears as a mound measuring c.50m by 30m, in moorland. It was recorded and partly excavated in 866. The main components of the complex are a wall and ditch surrounding the mound enclosing an area 44m EW by 56m NS and, on the large mound, subsidiary mounds containing stone buildings. The largest subsidiary mound is 20m in diameter. Excavation in 1866 showed signs of habitation in the Medieval period or later. The structures are still visible.

The site is traditionally that of the pre-17th century Kirk of Strubster. The structures are dissimilar to those of known shielings. They are probably Medieval or early post-medieval, because of the discovery of wheel made glazed pottery in them.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

It is the only upland site in Caithness likely to predate clearance villages and yet to have visible buildings and it is of national importance as a field monument. Its archaeology is also of national importance to our future understanding of pre-clearance sites in the north of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the site as ND36SW 6.


Laing S 1866, Prehistoric Remains of Caithness, 36-7.

RCAHMS 191, Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, London, 189.

Nicolson J 196, 'The exploration of the site known as the Kirk Stones of Stroupster, in the parish of Wick, county of Caithness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 314-6.

Mercer R 1980, Archaeological Field Survey in North Scotland, 1976-80, 88.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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