Ancient Monuments

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Slewcairn, two cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Abbey, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.9351 / 54°56'6"N

Longitude: -3.6751 / 3°40'30"W

OS Eastings: 292773

OS Northings: 561330

OS Grid: NX927613

Mapcode National: GBR 2CSC.4P

Mapcode Global: WH5X8.J750

Entry Name: Slewcairn, two cairns

Scheduled Date: 30 July 1938

Last Amended: 23 January 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1045

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Colvend and Southwick

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Abbey

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire


The monument comprises the remains of two circular cairns, funerary monuments dating from the Early Bronze Age period (c. 2000-1500 BC). The monument was originally scheduled in 1938, but the area covered by the designation was not properly defined. The current rescheduling rectifies this.

The cairns lie at around 220m and 240m OD respectively, on a S to SW-facing hillslope looking down the valley of the Boreland Burn towards the Solway Firth. The cairns are both approximately 10m in diameter and stand around 1m high. They are approximately 120m apart on plan, aligned on a NE-SW axis, and would have been clearly intervisible before modern forestry planting. Although there are some signs of surface interference on both cairns, this does not appear to have caused any major disturbance and it is likely that both would retain any original burial or votive deposits intact. Faint traces of a small rectilinear enclosure, probably a recent stock enclosure, can be seen on the N side of the N cairn.

The area to be scheduled comprises two circular areas, both 30m in diameter, centred on the cairns, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric ritual and funerary practices. The relationship between these cairns and an earlier long cairn situated c. 400m to the W, which was itself the successor of an earlier timber mortuary structure, is of particular interest and shows a long history of burial activity in this area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded in RCAHMS as NX 96 SW 2 and NX 96 SW 4.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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