Ancient Monuments

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The Ord, chambered cairns, cairns, settlements and field systems

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

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Latitude: 58.0168 / 58°1'0"N

Longitude: -4.4148 / 4°24'53"W

OS Eastings: 257443

OS Northings: 905616

OS Grid: NC574056

Mapcode National: GBR H7GJ.QJ9

Mapcode Global: WH3BK.4RZM

Entry Name: The Ord, chambered cairns, cairns, settlements and field systems

Scheduled Date: 3 April 1935

Last Amended: 14 February 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1812

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Lairg

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: North, West and Central Sutherland

Traditional County: Sutherland


The monument comprises a landscape of prehistoric sites including two chambered cairns, cairns, a homestead, several hut circles and accompanying field systems including cairns of field-cleared stones. The monument was first scheduled in 1935 but a wholly inadequate area was included to protect all of the important archaeological remains; the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The area to be scheduled is extensive. The following are the principal archaeological remains. Two large chambered tombs are situated on the summit of The Ord at around 150m OD. The Ord North is a well-preserved circular chambered tomb edged by dry walling and upright stones. It measures about 25m in diameter with an entrance to the SE. The Ord South is the remains of an Orkney-Cromarty type round cairn with a polygonal chamber situated on a rocky knoll. The cairn material has been removed but the chamber appears to have measured about 14m; the entrance was to the ESE. Two further round cairns exist nearby to the ESE, one measuring about 10m in diameter, the other about 7m in diameter. A well-built round cairn measuring about 9m in diameter lies near the summit. A burnt mound is situated on the NE slope of The Ord close to a burn. It measures 14.5m SE-NW by 11.5m and stands to a height of 1.6m. Settlement remains consist primarily of scattered hut circles accompanied by a system of plots, which are made up of low lynchets and banks on which clearance cairns are piled (cairn fields). The hut circles fall into two broad categories, one measuring between 5.5m and 10m in internal diameter, the second, more substantially built and measuring between 9m to 14.5 by 12m internally. At least 20 hut circles are well preserved, and there are traces of several others. A more substantial banked enclosure situated on the SE slope of the Ord has been classified as a homestead and may represent a later phase of occupation than the hut circles. It is circular with an internal diameter of 13m surrounded by a wall of turf and boulders 2m across; this is then surrounded by an outer ditch. The entrance is to the SSW. This homestead was previously scheduled separately.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 1350 NNW-SSE by 950m NE-SW. It includes all of the elements described above as well as a multitude of small cairns of field-cleared stones and fragmentary walled and banked field enclosures. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map extract. Specifically excluded from scheduling are the fenced enclosure on the summit and the mast and relay stations within it and also the top 30cm of the road and turning area which give access to it from Ord Place. Also excluded are the top 30cm of all public paths associated with the Visitor Centre at Ferrycroft and all stockproof fences and gates in existence at the date this rescheduling takes effect.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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