Ancient Monuments

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Na Sidheanan, burial mounds 200m north of Laig Farm, Eigg

A Scheduled Monument in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Latitude: 56.9131 / 56°54'47"N

Longitude: -6.1634 / 6°9'48"W

OS Eastings: 146671

OS Northings: 787922

OS Grid: NM466879

Mapcode National: GBR CB5F.TYK

Mapcode Global: WGZBL.9H8N

Entry Name: Na Sidheanan, burial mounds 200m N of Laig Farm, Eigg

Scheduled Date: 23 February 2004

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10994

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: cave

Location: Small Isles

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises a group of small burial mounds, probably of late Iron Age date.

At least 14 burial mounds, mostly near-square on plan and from 5m to 2.5m across, are located on slight, turf-covered, shingle ridges close to the present-day shoreline. The mounds are edged with medium-sized earthfast boulders and filled with smaller stones and earth. Several mounds display distinctive upright corner stones, and some have been dug into in the past. The mounds are in clusters. On the seaward-most ridge, at the NE end of the area, are 7 mounds which lack any significant large stones in their kerbs, plus an outlier some 25m to the E. On the next terrace inland are 4 mounds with very distinct kerbs and central hollows, again with another mound of similar character lying about 25m to the E. On the next terrace, still moving inland, are two very distinctly kerbed mounds. A later rectangular building foundation lies 35m to the E. Finally, on the W side of a N-S stream gully to the W of these groups of mounds, lies a single mound which has been partially eroded. Running N-S across the area are several slight banks of stones, which may be old field boundaries or else the remains of kelp-drying walls.

The appearance of these mounds and their orderly arrangement strongly suggests that they are square barrows of the type normally ascribed to the late Iron Age or Pictish period. The nature of the site - above the shoreline, near the best farmland on the island and with splendid open views towards the mountains of Rum - may have been significant in the choice of burial location.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, measuring a maximum of 110m N-S m by 200m E-W, to include all of the mounds mentioned above and an area around and among them in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as one of the finest groups of square kerbed barrows in Scotland. Despite some old disturbance, the site retains great potential to provide information about early to mid 1st millennium AD burial practices and contemporary land use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NM48NE 12.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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