Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Smir Heog,cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland North, Shetland Islands

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 60.4819 / 60°28'54"N

Longitude: -1.5353 / 1°32'7"W

OS Eastings: 425640

OS Northings: 1177665

OS Grid: HU256776

Mapcode National: GBR Q1K1.37M

Mapcode Global: XHD1H.DSHT

Entry Name: Smir Heog,cairns

Scheduled Date: 30 January 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6149

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Northmaven

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland North

Traditional County: Shetland

Description

The monument consists of two prehistoric burial cairns set on a S- facing slope above a cliffed promontory.

The cairns lie almost N and S. The N cairn is the smaller, and is set on a prominent knoll at the S end of the ridge of the hill called Smir Heog. It is almost circular, with several large stones set on edge around its perimeter, which measures about 6m in diameter. On the ESE side there are three larger earthfast stones, possibly the remains of a short facade, and in the body of the cairn near to this several larger blocks may represent a disturbed burial chamber. 50m away, just E of S, is the second, larger cairn. This is obscured by vegetation and peat, but is either square or heel-shaped, and about 10m across. A possible facade faces SSE, with a tall stone set at its E end and several larger stones at its W end. There is no trace of a chamber.

The area to be scheduled is a rectangle, 90m N-S by 50m, with its SE corner on the top of the cliffs overlooking Roe Sand. This includes the cairns and an area around in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an unusual pair of small burial cairns, set very close together. Individually and as a pair the cairns have the potential, through excavation and analysis, to provide information about prehistoric ritual and funerary practices and, from underlying soils, about contemporary environment and land use. Although apparently funerary, the cairns are set overlooking the sea, and a deliberate or accidental use as navigation markers cannot be excluded.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as HU 27 NE 2 and 4.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.