Ancient Monuments

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Tir nan Og, cairn 445m SSW of

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.1689 / 57°10'7"N

Longitude: -4.8373 / 4°50'14"W

OS Eastings: 228541

OS Northings: 812239

OS Grid: NH285122

Mapcode National: GBR G9FS.2Z2

Mapcode Global: WH2FG.N2QL

Entry Name: Tir nan Og, cairn 445m SSW of

Scheduled Date: 1 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11494

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Urquhart and Glenmoriston

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises a burial cairn, between 4500 and 3500 years old, situated just above the lower break of slope of a wide river valley in slightly forested moorland.

The cairn is a grass-covered, roughly circular, stony mound, measuring 10.5 m in diameter, and up to 1m in height. There is a shallow hollow at the summit, 3m in diameter.

The area to be scheduled is sub-circular on plan, centred on the cairn, to include the cairn and any associated evidence for its construction and use, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The area is bounded to the S by a fence, to the E by a burn and in the W by a Nissen hut, all of which fall outside the scheduled area. Within the area, but specifically excluded to allow for their maintenance, are the above-ground footings of a disused dyke, a fence and a telegraph pole.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: Subsequent land-use as moorland and the remaining height of the cairn means that there is a strong likelihood that the characteristic structural features that define this class of monument, and the internal and external archaeological deposits associated with this particular monument, have not been disturbed.

Contextual characteristics: This monument would have formed a prominent marker within a low-lying area, on the lower reaches of a broad river valley where there is little other evidence for prehistoric activity. This may indicate that it occupied a marginal position in the contemporary prehistoric landscape, where its construction and subsequent acts of internment demarcated and defined the boundaries of domestic/living and wild/dead space, the territories of different communities, and/or route-ways through the landscape, followed by game or herded stock. This monument therefore provides a rare opportunity for understanding how prehistoric people perceived the spheres of life, agriculture and death to interact within this region during prehistory.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a good and well-preserved example of a later prehistoric burial cairn in an area where few traces of prehistoric occupation remain. It has the potential to inform upon the pattern and development of upland exploitation and occupation, and upon the perceived relationship between the spheres of sacred and profane existence within later prehistoric communities and societies. Its loss would significantly detract from our ability to understand prehistoric burial and ritual practices in this region and would affect our ability to understand this landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NH21SE5, Dalchreichart.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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