Ancient Monuments

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Mains of Daviot Farm, ring cairn and stone circle 600m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Inverness South, Highland

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Latitude: 57.4432 / 57°26'35"N

Longitude: -4.122 / 4°7'19"W

OS Eastings: 272734

OS Northings: 841197

OS Grid: NH727411

Mapcode National: GBR J961.LKX

Mapcode Global: WH4GQ.N5BT

Entry Name: Mains of Daviot Farm, ring cairn and stone circle 600m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 28 December 1971

Last Amended: 2 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3085

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: ring cairn

Location: Daviot and Dunlichity

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Inverness South

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises the remains of a Clava-type ring cairn and associated stone circle of prehistoric date. It is visible as a ring of stones and two standing stones, lying at about 190 m OD at the S edge of an arable field. The monument was first scheduled in 1971, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains; the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The cairn comprises a discontinuous ring of stones enclosing a slightly raised area measuring about 20 m from N-S by 18 m transversely. Robbing has almost levelled the cairn, though the majority of the structural stones remain. Only two monoliths of the surrounding circle survive, situated to the SW and SE of the cairn, and measuring 2.2 m and 1.5 m in height respectively.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the centre of the cairn, to include the cairn, standing stones and an area around in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument is a relatively well-preserved example of a Clava-type ring cairn and its associated stone circle. Despite the stone robbing that has reduced much of the body of the cairn, the characteristic structural features that define this class of monument are well preserved. The cairn is also likely to preserve beneath it a buried prehistoric land surface.

From the excavation of related monuments we now understand that the remains associated with ring cairns can include stone platforms enclosed by a circle or 'kerb' of stones, larger surrounding stone circles and rubble banks or 'rays' joining them as well as other features, and that they have a complex history of development. The two surviving stones hint at the elaboration and complexity existing here. The monument therefore has a good potential to contribute to future understanding of Early Bronze-Age funerary and ritual practices.

Contextual characteristics: The monument is a good example of a distinctive and rare type of cairn found only in the Inverness and Moray First area, particularly along river valleys and low ground south of the Firth. Examples generally include components of stone circles, ring cairns and passage graves. The monument occupies an inconspicuous location, set within a natural hollow overlooked by high ground. Its siting is characteristic of other nearby ring cairns, suggesting their significance perhaps did not extend beyond the immediate locality.

Associative characteristics: It is the view of most prehistorians that there was an intimate relationship between the religious beliefs expressed by monuments such as this, the surrounding landscape and the movements of the main astronomical bodies. This astronomical link continues to generate considerable interest today.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of its inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular Early Bronze-Age religious and funerary practices in NE Scotland and their relationship to what is happening elsewhere in the British Isles. It represents a rare and regionally distinctive class of monument and retains the field characteristics of its kind to a marked degree. The loss of, or damage to, the monument would significantly diminish the capacity of this class to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NH74SW 5.


Bradley R 2000, THE GOOD STONES: A NEW INVESTIGATION OF THE CLAVA CAIRNS, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland monograph series No. 17, Edinburgh, 161, 176, 180, 182.

Fraser J 1884, 'Descriptive notes on the stone circles of Strathnairn and neighbourhood of Inverness', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 18, 338-9.

Henshall A S 1963, THE CHAMBERED TOMBS OF SCOTLAND, Vol. 1, Edinburgh, 374, INV 28.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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