Ancient Monuments

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Bilbster, chambered cairn 1040m NNE of Bylbster Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Wick and East Caithness, Highland

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Latitude: 58.4746 / 58°28'28"N

Longitude: -3.2541 / 3°15'14"W

OS Eastings: 326953

OS Northings: 954728

OS Grid: ND269547

Mapcode National: GBR L6BB.81R

Mapcode Global: WH6DC.Z8L3

Entry Name: Bilbster, chambered cairn 1040m NNE of Bylbster Bridge

Scheduled Date: 24 July 1934

Last Amended: 11 March 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM431

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Wick

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wick and East Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness


The monument comprises the remains of a chambered cairn; a prehistoric funerary and ritual monument dating from the Neolithic period (c. 4000-2000BC). The cairn is already scheduled, but this re-scheduling extends the protected area to include the whole of the cairn and a small area around it in which evidence relating to its construction and use may be expected to survive.

The cairn stands on a natural ridge overlooking the Wick River to the north. It is oval, measuring approximately 25m N-S by 20m E-W, and standing up to 1.6m high. The body of the cairn has been disturbed, revealing the presence of two separate internal chambers, one to the N and one to the S, which lie approximately 5m apart. The N chamber is defined by 4 large, upright, stone "orthostats" plus one further stone, which has fallen from position. The S chamber can also be identified by the presence of 4 visible orthostats, although further structural elements of this chamber may lie buried within the body of the cairn.

The area now to be scheduled is a circle, 45m in diameter, centred on the cairn, to include the remains described above, plus an area around where remains relating to the construction and use of the cairn may be expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved example of a chambered cairn. It has the potential, through excavation and analysis, to provide information on Neolithic ritual and funerary practices, and contemporary material culture and agricultural economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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