Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Loch of Yarrows, stone rows 350m south east of North Yarrows

A Scheduled Monument in Wick and East Caithness, Highland

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Latitude: 58.3792 / 58°22'45"N

Longitude: -3.1765 / 3°10'35"W

OS Eastings: 331292

OS Northings: 944022

OS Grid: ND312440

Mapcode National: GBR L6JL.1L5

Mapcode Global: WH6DT.5NM8

Entry Name: Loch of Yarrows, stone rows 350m SE of North Yarrows

Scheduled Date: 6 September 1934

Last Amended: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM506

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: stone rows

Location: Wick

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wick and East Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness


The monument, comprising a minimum of 6 roughly parallel rows of stones, is a ritual monument of the Neolithic or Bronze Age. The exact function of such sites is uncertain, but they were often constructed with reference to astronomical, or geographical, features visible from the monument. The stone rows were originally scheduled in 1934, but a larger area than necessary was defined for their protection; the current scheduling rectifies this.

The stone rows lie at approximately 90m OD, at the NE end of the Loch of Yarrows. Unlike most of the other prehistoric ritual sites in the area, the rows are unobtrusive in the landscape. The individual stones stand less than 0.5m high, by about 0.1m wide and are 0.3-0.5m long. They are aligned N-S in 8 parallel rows approximately 2m apart, with a gap of about 0.5m or less between each stone in a row. Only 6 of the rows are substantially intact with the other 2 now represented by only a few stones. The rows run for approximately 50m, with the S end truncated by a modern fence and drainage ditch.

The area to be scheduled is a rectangle measuring 60m N-S by 30m, to include the stone rows and an area around and between them where remains associated with their construction and use may be expected to survive. The above ground elements of the modern fence running through the southern end of the monument are specifically excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved example of a locally common, but nationally rare, form of prehistoric site. It has the potential, through excavation and analysis, to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric ritual practices. The relationship between this monument and the other prehistoric ritual sites clustered around the Loch further enhances its importance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The site is RCAHMS reference ND 34 SW 22.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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