Ancient Monuments

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Balcharn, chambered cairn 120m west of

A Scheduled Monument in North, West and Central Sutherland, Highland

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Latitude: 58.0255 / 58°1'31"N

Longitude: -4.3775 / 4°22'38"W

OS Eastings: 259682

OS Northings: 906510

OS Grid: NC596065

Mapcode National: GBR H7KJ.3KR

Mapcode Global: WH3BK.QJPX

Entry Name: Balcharn, chambered cairn 120m W of

Scheduled Date: 16 June 1939

Last Amended: 22 March 2005

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1768

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Lairg

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: North, West and Central Sutherland

Traditional County: Sutherland


The monument comprises an Orkney-Cromarty-type round cairn with a polygonal chamber. The monument was first scheduled in 1939, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains and the area is not centred on the cairn: the present rescheduling rectifies these problems.

The cairn has been disturbed, leaving an irregular mound c.28m in diameter, rising to a height of 2.3m above the surrounding ground on the W side. In the centre of the mound a small mutilated portion of the cairn 1m high contains the remains of the chamber, outlined by four stones protruding from the turf.

The foundations of a farmstead, depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map can be seen on the S extremity of the cairn. To the SE the stone wall of a stock enclosure has bisected the edge of the cairn.

The area to be scheduled is a circle of diameter 45m, centred on the cairn, to include the cairn and an area around in which evidence relating to the construction and use of the cairn may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The above-ground portion of the stone wall of the stock enclosure is excluded from scheduling to allow for maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a chambered long cairn which has the potential to provide important information on the funerary and ritual architecture of the Neolithic period in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NC50NE36.00.


Henshall A S 1963, THE CHAMBERED TOMBS OF SCOTLAND, Vol. 1, Edinburgh, 310, SUT 11.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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