Ancient Monuments

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Acharn, cairn 480m north west of

A Scheduled Monument in Fort William and Ardnamurchan, Highland

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Latitude: 56.5917 / 56°35'30"N

Longitude: -5.7523 / 5°45'8"W

OS Eastings: 169724

OS Northings: 750724

OS Grid: NM697507

Mapcode National: GBR DC59.9Z1

Mapcode Global: WH0FG.ML12

Entry Name: Acharn, cairn 480m NW of

Scheduled Date: 17 January 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7791

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Morvern

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Fort William and Ardnamurchan

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a cairn of prehistoric date. The monument lies on a small terrace above the flood-plain at the foot of Loch Arienas, at around 20m OD. It comprises a cairn measuring approximately 11m in diameter and about 0.5m high. Two cists are exposed in the cairn, one to the S of the centre of the cairn, and the other in the NE quadrant.

The first measures about 1.4m by 0.7m, and is some 0.8m in depth. The second cist measures about 0.9m by 0.7m, and has a depth of about 0.6m, with the SE end-slab standing to a height of about 1m.

Cairns of this type are funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age. Although partly excavated, this example is likely to contain material relating to its mode of construction and use, and to contemporary environmental and land use conditions. Cists are graves lined with large stone slabs.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is a circle 40m in diameter, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric funerary and ritual practices. Its importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM 65 SE 4.


Gregory, D (1857) 'Notes regarding various remains of antiquity, both of the earlier and middle ages, observed during a recent visit to the Hebrides', Archaeol Scot, Vol. 4, 363.

PSAS (1977) 'Donations to and purchases for the Museum and Library', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, Vol. 106, 18-19.

RCAHMS (1980) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 3: Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll (excluding the early medieval and later monuments of Iona), 49-50, nos. 7 (2), Edinburgh.

Thornber, I. (1974) 'Acharn, cairn, flint/scraper, cairn, cairns', Discovery Excav Scot, 19.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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