Ancient Monuments

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Higher Hillhead, cairn 715m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Nairn and Cawdor, Highland

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Latitude: 57.5421 / 57°32'31"N

Longitude: -3.8122 / 3°48'43"W

OS Eastings: 291624

OS Northings: 851672

OS Grid: NH916516

Mapcode National: GBR J8YS.JH6

Mapcode Global: WH5HF.DPXG

Entry Name: Higher Hillhead, cairn 715m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 10 February 1975

Last Amended: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3606

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Auldearn

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Nairn and Cawdor

Traditional County: Nairnshire


The monument is a burial cairn of prehistoric (probable Bronze-Age) date, visible as a circular, whin covered mound and lying within Arr Wood conifer plantation. The monument was first scheduled in 1975, but an inadequate area was included to protect all archaeological remains; the present scheduling rectifies this.

The cairn measures approximately 17.5 m in diameter and stands to a height of about 1.5 m. Many of the kerbstones round the perimeter of the cairn are visible. There is a slight hollow in the centre of the cairn. To the E of the cairn, are the remains of a number of possible field clearance cairns.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, 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, including evidence for the environment before people built the cairn. The survival of a boulder kerb has the potential to significantly enhance understanding of the monument.

Contextual characteristics: Although much of the landscape setting of the monument is currently obscured under dense plantation, the presence of clearance cairns in the vicinity of the cairn suggests that it has occupied a significant place within the prehistoric landscape of the area, both during and after use.

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. The presence of possible field clearance cairns in the near vicinity of the cairn suggests it may have formed part of a diverse prehistoric landscape, which has been utilised both for funerary and agricultural uses. Its loss would affect our ability to understand this landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record this monument as NH95SW 4.


RCAHMS 1978, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF NAIRN DISTRICT, HIGHLAND REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series, 5, 7, No. 9, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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