Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Haylie House, chambered cairn

A Scheduled Monument in North Coast and Cumbraes, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.7874 / 55°47'14"N

Longitude: -4.8571 / 4°51'25"W

OS Eastings: 220950

OS Northings: 658594

OS Grid: NS209585

Mapcode National: GBR 31.8DVG

Mapcode Global: WH2N1.CSBP

Entry Name: Haylie House, chambered cairn

Scheduled Date: 17 November 1964

Last Amended: 20 November 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2482

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Largs

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: North Coast and Cumbraes

Traditional County: Ayrshire


The monument comprises the remains of a chambered cairn, dating from the Neolithic period. The monument was originally scheduled in 1964, but the area covered by the designation did not relate accurately to the remains on the ground. The current rescheduling rectifies this.

The chambered cairn is situated on a shelf of the hillside at around 25m OD, about 400m inland, and has a wide view across the Firth of Clyde. It lies in unimproved pasture about 75m NNE of Haylie House.

The burial chamber, sometimes known as 'Haco's Tomb', was originally covered by a large cairn, 'Margaret's Law'. This was completely removed in 1772, reportedly producing '15,000 cartloads' of stones. The Clyde-type chamber is oriented ESE to WNW, with its entrance facing uphill to the E. It measures about 6.7m in length by between 0.9m and 1.2m transversely. Originally it probably had three compartments, but only the innermost one remains intact today, built of massive slabs of quartz conglomerate, including a massive capstone. The chambers were partly excavated in 1953 and finds included two human skulls and other bones, and a flint knife or scraper.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan and measures 25m maximum from E to W by 17m transversely, as shown in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of early prehistoric burial practices and funerary architecture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NS25NW 1.


Aitken, W. G. and Marshall, D. (1958), 'Excavation of burial chamber at Haylie, Largs, Ayrshire in 1954', Ayrshire Archaeol Natur Hist Collect, 1955-57.

Henshall, A. (1972a), The Chambered Tombs of Scotland, Vol. 2, 396-7.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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