Ancient Monuments

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Achnabat, cairn 960m north of

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.3488 / 57°20'55"N

Longitude: -4.3311 / 4°19'52"W

OS Eastings: 259827

OS Northings: 831106

OS Grid: NH598311

Mapcode National: GBR H9P9.6T2

Mapcode Global: WH3FW.FKS5

Entry Name: Achnabat, cairn 960m N of

Scheduled Date: 1 March 2007

Last Amended: 16 July 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11799

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Dores

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument is a prehistoric burial cairn surviving as a heather and bracken covered mound, probably dating to about 4500-3500 years ago, during the Bronze Age. It is situated on the lower slopes of a ridge and, although currently sited along a power line corridor within semi-native woodland, it would formerly have been in a prominent position commanding extensive views and visible from the shores of Loch Duntelchaig to the E.

The cairn measures 6.5m in diameter and 1.0m high. Several of the large stones of the retaining kerb protrude through the peat and vegetation. There is a slight depression in the centre of the cairn, possibly indicating subsidence into a central burial cist. A small birch tree is growing on the E edge of the cairn.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, to include the visible remains and an area around in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The above-ground portions of the line of telegraph poles crossing the scheduled area are to be excluded from the scheduling, to allow for maintenance of the overhead electricity line.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: The cairn retains important field characteristics that clearly identify it as a Bronze-Age burial cairn. Elements of the outer retaining kerb are visible through the vegetation and the convex profile of the interior does not suggest extensive, if any, disturbance. The monument potentially preserves high-quality archaeological deposits relating to prehistoric burial rites.

Contextual characteristics: The cairn formed a highly visible component of the Bronze-Age landscape and can be compared and contrasted to nearby prehistoric funerary monuments and others outside the region to create an understanding of regional identity and society during this period. The site's location affords extensive views to the N and E and ensures intervisibility between it and the complex of prehistoric settlement sites, both domestic and funerary, which are evident in the surrounding area.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it is a prominent, upstanding Bronze-Age cairn with the potential to reveal much about funerary practice in the prehistoric communities of NE Scotland. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to our knowledge of prehistoric society in this locality and, by association, the rest of Scotland. The loss of the monument would affect our future ability to appreciate and understand the prehistoric landscape and its inhabitants.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NH53SE 9. It is recorded in the Highland Council SMR as NH53SE0009.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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