Ancient Monuments

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Cairn, 110m south west of Almondbank Filling Station

A Scheduled Monument in Almond and Earn, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.4075 / 56°24'27"N

Longitude: -3.5099 / 3°30'35"W

OS Eastings: 306923

OS Northings: 724944

OS Grid: NO069249

Mapcode National: GBR 1W.09FJ

Mapcode Global: WH5P6.16WR

Entry Name: Cairn, 110m SW of Almondbank Filling Station

Scheduled Date: 29 November 1962

Last Amended: 5 November 2019

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2267

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Tibbermore

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Almond and Earn

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises the remains of a prehistoric cairn, likely dating from the period around 4000 – 800 BC. It is visible as a grass and tree covered mound, measuring up to 38m in diameter by up to 5m high. The cairn lies within an arable field in an area of rolling farmland west of Perth, at around 35m above sea level.

The cairn appears to be relatively undisturbed, and the mound may conceal a burial chamber and connected entrance passage. The location of the cairn in gently rolling farmland gives it extensive views in all directions.

The scheduled area is irregular. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a. The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the past as a well preserved example of a prehistoric burial cairn with minimal evidence of disturbance. In particular it adds to our understanding of prehistoric burial practices.

b. The monument retains structural and other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. In particular, there is potential for the preservation of buried features and deposits, including structural remains such as a passage and chamber, and human burial, associated grave goods and environmental or palaeobotanical remains.

c. The monument is a rare example of an upstanding prehistoric burial cairn within an arable farming area.

d. The monument is a particularly good example of a prehistoric cairn within this area and is therefore an important representative of this monument type.

e. The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past, in particular, it holds the potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric ritual and funerary practices within Scotland, and there is high potential for archaeological evidence to survive in and around the monument.

f. The monument makes a significant contribution to today's landscape and also our understanding of the historic landscape by its prominence within the rolling farmland along this stretch of the River Almond valley.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument is a well preserved example of a prehistoric burial cairn. It survives as a substantial stone built mound around 38m across and 5m high, which is comparable to other examples. The cairn appears largely undisturbed and it is highly likely that features survive within the body of the cairn such as burials.

It is unclear from the available evidence whether the monument is a chambered cairn dating from the Neolithic period around 4000 – 2500 BC or later example without chambering from the Bronze Age around 2500 – 800 BC. Archaeological evidence within the monument itself would provide more accurate information on the type and date of construction of the cairn.

Given the good level of preservation of the cairn, there is a high potential for the survival of human remains, associated grave goods and environmental or palaeobotanical remains. Such archaeological deposits can help us to better understand beliefs surrounding death and burial in the Bronze Age, as well as funerary rites and practices, trade and contacts, social organisation and the climate and local vegetation at the time of construction. These deposits can help us understand more about the practice and significance of burial and commemoration of the dead at specific times in prehistory. There is also good potential for the survival of secondary or 'satellite' burials and related archaeological evidence for funerary pyres or other funerary activity in the area surrounding the barrow. The monument therefore has the potential to enhance our understanding of the nature and development of prehistoric monumentality and burial, the nature of belief systems, ceremonial and burial practices.

Excavation of similar large cairns have also demonstrated a complex construction sequence to create the final structure. Such evidence indicates not only how such a structure was built, but in some cases how it was used as a place of internment. Scientific study of the cairn's form and construction techniques compared with other prehistoric burial cairns would also enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site and of cairns in general.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

Prehistoric burial cairns are found throughout Scotland. This example is one of a small cluster of similar monuments located to the north and west of Perth, including at Cairnton cottage (scheduled monument SM1508) and Ardgilzean Cottage (scheduled monument SM3402). Several other examples of cairns in this area are noted in the Ordnance Survey Name Books, such as at Luncarty (Canmore ID 26723) and Bridgeton (Canmore ID 26791), but modern survey has been unable to locate them.

Prehistoric burial cairns are found in a variety of locations. Some are placed in conspicuous locations within the landscape, such as on the summits of hills or on the shoulders of hills, perhaps to be seen on a skyline or otherwise in profile. Others are found in less conspicuous locations, for example on valley floors. Relationships to routeways and/or other ritual sites, locations near to good upland pasture and views over specific areas of land may also have had significance. Some later cairns are located with higher ground on two or more sides. This means that the cairn is hidden from certain directions and often have more restricted views.

The cairn at Almondbank is positioned on top of a low hill within a broader landscape of rolling farmland and even today the cairn is a highly prominent feature in the landscape. It occupies an open position and would have had extensive views of the landscape in all directions, particularly across and along this stretch of the valley of the River Almond. Burial monuments such as this one are one of our main sources of information about the nature of Scotland's prehistoric society and landscape.  These monuments can give important insights into the prehistoric landscape and add to our understanding of social organisation, land division and land-use.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to this site's cultural significance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 26857 (accessed on 10/07/2019).

Perth & Kinross HER Reference MPK2163 (accessed on15/07/2019).

MacSween, A. and Sharp, M. (1989). Prehistoric Scotland. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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