Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Shian Hillock, cairn 445m south east of The Knapp

A Scheduled Monument in Nairn and Cawdor, Highland

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Latitude: 57.5252 / 57°31'30"N

Longitude: -3.8111 / 3°48'39"W

OS Eastings: 291639

OS Northings: 849786

OS Grid: NH916497

Mapcode National: GBR J8YT.YTF

Mapcode Global: WH5HM.F3FX

Entry Name: Shian Hillock, cairn 445m SE of The Knapp

Scheduled Date: 30 December 1971

Last Amended: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3135

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Ardclach

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Nairn and Cawdor

Traditional County: Nairnshire


The monument is a cairn of prehistoric (probable Bronze-Age) date, visible as a grass-covered mound and lying in an area of arable farmland, near to the banks of Muckle Burn. The monument was first scheduled in 1971, but an inadequate area was included to protect all archaeological remains; the present scheduling rectifies this.

The cairn measures approximately 30m in diameter and stands to a height of about 4m. Several of the kerb-stones round the perimeter of the cairn are visible. A trench approximately 1.5 m across and approximately 1 m deep crosses the summit N to S. This may be the location of the cist and burials referred to in a 19th-century account of the site.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan and centred on the cairn, to include the cairn and an area around in which evidence relating to its 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 characteristic structural features that define this class of monument are well preserved and it is likely that the associated archaeological deposits are also in a good state of preservation. Evidence for the environment before people erected the cairn may be sealed underneath it. The survival of an intermittent boulder kerb has the potential to significantly enhance understanding of the monument.

Contextual characteristics: The monument occupies a prominent position in the landscape with views along Muckle Burn. It would have had a significant place within the prehistoric landscape of the area.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because there is good potential for the survival of archaeological evidence relating to its construction and use. It retains important field characteristics, such as the boulder kerb. It occupies a prominent position in the landscape and prehistoric people would have seen it from a wide area of the landscape in which they conducted their day-to-day activities. Its loss would affect our ability to understand this landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records this monument as NH94NW1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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