Ancient Monuments

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Acharn, cairns 350m WNW of

A Scheduled Monument in Fort William and Ardnamurchan, Highland

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Latitude: 56.5905 / 56°35'25"N

Longitude: -5.7506 / 5°45'2"W

OS Eastings: 169820

OS Northings: 750585

OS Grid: NM698505

Mapcode National: GBR DC59.BQX

Mapcode Global: WH0FG.MLVZ

Entry Name: Acharn, cairns 350m WNW of

Scheduled Date: 17 January 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7793

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 group of four cairns of prehistoric date.

The monument lies on a low terrace near the foot of Loch Arienas, at around 20m OD. It consists of four cairns, the largest of which measures about 14m in diameter and stands to a height of about 0.6m. There are a number of kerb-stones visible at the perimeter of this cairn, which was partly excavated in 1977.

Lying some 5m to the N is a second cairn, measuring about 7m in diameter and standing to a height of about 0.2m. About 30m to the SSE of the first cairn is a third cairn, measuring about 7m in diameter and about 0.4m high. The fourth cairn in the group stands about 30m to the S of the third. It measures about 4m in diameter and some 0.6m high.

Cairns of this type are funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age, and may be expected to contain material relating to their mode of construction and use.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the cairns and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is a circle 80m 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 5.


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 (3-5), Edinburgh.

Ritchie, J. N. G. and Thornber, I. (1989) 'Cairn 3, Acharn, Morvern, Argyll', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, Vol. 118 fiche 2: F1-11, 95-8.

Thornber, I. (1974) 'Acharn, cairn, flint/scraper, cairn, cairns', Discovery Excav Scot, 20.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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