Ancient Monuments

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Kinbrace Farm, three chambered cairns north west of, Achentoul Forest

A Scheduled Monument in East Sutherland and Edderton, Highland

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Latitude: 58.2366 / 58°14'11"N

Longitude: -3.9233 / 3°55'23"W

OS Eastings: 287170

OS Northings: 929154

OS Grid: NC871291

Mapcode National: GBR J6PY.MLM

Mapcode Global: WH4BY.P7YK

Entry Name: Kinbrace Farm, three chambered cairns NW of, Achentoul Forest

Scheduled Date: 11 December 1934

Last Amended: 12 February 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1797

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Kildonan

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: East Sutherland and Edderton

Traditional County: Sutherland


The monument comprises the remains of three prehistoric chambered burial cairns, located in forest clearings. All three have been scheduled since 1934, but with protected areas that are grossly inadequate to cover the visible archaeological remains, ignoring any surrounding area of significance. This extension rectifies this situation.

The three cairns lie on gently sloping ground to the E of the Helmsdale to Kinbrace public road. The most northerly cairn is close to the road. It consists of a mass of moss-covered stone some 17m across and about 3.2m tall. In the body of the cairn, near the ESE edge, two large upright stones may mark the portals to the entrance passage. To the SE of this cairn, and further within the forest, are a pair of cairns set very close together in a single clearing. The NE of the pair is a large round cairn some 28m by 23m and up to 3.2m high. At the N corner is a short protrusion, or 'horn'. The SW cairn is less substantial, but still 31m long by from 17m to 9m broad and up to 3m tall. No trace of a chamber is visible in either cairn, but their sizes suggest that the NE cairn was chambered, and probably the SW cairn is as well. Although no visible trace survives, earlier reports suggested a low bank linking the two cairns. It is entirely possible that the pair form an embryonic long cairn that was not taken to completion.

The area now to be scheduled is in two parts. A circle 35m in diameter around the northerly cairn and an elongated area around the close pair of cairns, this area defined by two semi-circles of diameter 50m joined by parallel straight sides running NE-SW, to give an overall length of 85m. These areas include the cairns and an area around each in which evidence relating to their construction and use is likely to survive and are shown in red on the accompanying map extract

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a group of large prehistoric burial cairns that may not have been seriously disturbed since their period of construction and use. The group offers an opportunity to examine the temporal and functional inter-relationships of cairns of varied appearance. Individually and as a group the cairns which form this monument have a particularly high potential to provide important information about prehistoric ritual and funerary practices and also about contemporary land-use and environmental conditions.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NC 82 NE 2 and NC 82 NE 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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