Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Erne's Ward, cairns north east and NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.265 / 60°15'54"N

Longitude: -1.4961 / 1°29'45"W

OS Eastings: 427983

OS Northings: 1153529

OS Grid: HU279535

Mapcode National: GBR Q1NL.WS0

Mapcode Global: XHD2N.X890

Entry Name: Erne's Ward, cairns NE and NNE of

Scheduled Date: 16 June 1997

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6731

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Sandsting

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument comprises the remains of two prehistoric cairns, one chambered.

The cairns are set 420m apart, one either side of the Merki Burn. The S cairn is round, about 16m in diameter. It has a kerb of very large blocks intermittently visible around the outer edge. The entrance has been on the SE side, where the curvature is flattened, but little trace of entrance passage or the circular chamber once recorded can be made out in the tumbled interior.

This cairn stands just over 50m from the public road, upslope from it. The N cairn is approximately 10m in diameter. It is of large stones, but shows little trace of internal structure apart from a single slab which protrudes from the centre and may represent part of a chamber or cist. This cairn lies just over 100m from, and on a level with, the public road.

The area to be scheduled consists of two circular areas, each 30m in diameter and centred on their respective cairns. These include the cairns small areas around each in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a pair of prehistoric burial cairns of disparate size but similar general plan. Taken together, they have the potential, through excavation and analysis, to provide information about prehistoric funerary practices and contemporary land-use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU 25 SE 3 and 25.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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