Ancient Monuments

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Carn Liath, chambered cairn and deserted settlement, Kilmuir

A Scheduled Monument in Eilean á Chèo, Highland

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Latitude: 57.6326 / 57°37'57"N

Longitude: -6.4052 / 6°24'18"W

OS Eastings: 137153

OS Northings: 868838

OS Grid: NG371688

Mapcode National: GBR B8KK.4YF

Mapcode Global: WGY5V.LF44

Entry Name: Carn Liath, chambered cairn and deserted settlement, Kilmuir

Scheduled Date: 6 January 1960

Last Amended: 7 December 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM894

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: long cairn; Secular: settlement, including deserted, depopulated an

Location: Kilmuir

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Eilean á Chèo

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises a chambered cairn and the footings of post-medieval buildings. The cairn is a ritual and funerary monument of the Neolithic period (c. 4000-2000 BC), but the buildings are comparatively recent and probably date from the period between AD 1700-1900.

The cairn lies at approximately 45m OD, on the crest of a long ridge separating Loch Chaluim Chille from the coast. It was originally almost square in its final shape, aligned roughly NNW-SSE, 30m wide, with pointed horns protruding from each corner. Unfortunately, later surface disturbance has obscured much of this original layout, but the large stones defining the edge of the cairn can still be identified in the northern half of the monument. The cairn is bisected by a modern drystone dyke, which runs directly over the chamber. Elements of the chamber can be identified immediately to the N of the dyke and a massive chamber capstone projects from beneath its southern side. Two protruding stones on either side of the capstone, set about 2m away from the chamber, may indicate the presence of a facade which was later absorbed by the final phase of cairn construction. To the south of the cairn, the outline of an oval structure or enclosure is defined by large stones. This structure runs up to and possibly underneath the body of the cairn and it may represent a phase of activity associated with, or even predating, the cairn.

The northern side of the cairn has been disturbed by later activity, presumably related to the buildings whose remains survive to the N of the cairn itself. There are at least two buildings, one of which has two clear structural elements. Other rectilinear structures, presumably temporary sheep shelters or drystane practice works, can be seen in the body of the cairn itself.

The area to be scheduled includes the cairn, the post-medieval building remains, and an area around and between them where information relating to their construction and use may be expected to survive. It is rectangular in shape and measures 100m NNW-SSE by 50m, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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