Ancient Monuments

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March Cairn,chambered cairn 650m south east of Priesthoulland,Esha Ness

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland North, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.4933 / 60°29'35"N

Longitude: -1.5984 / 1°35'54"W

OS Eastings: 422166

OS Northings: 1178915

OS Grid: HU221789

Mapcode National: GBR Q1D0.BB6

Mapcode Global: XHD1G.KJW1

Entry Name: March Cairn,chambered cairn 650m SE of Priesthoulland,Esha Ness

Scheduled Date: 26 July 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6059

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Northmaven

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland North

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of a prehistoric chambered burial cairn.

The cairn, sometimes called the March Cairn, is situated on a low ridge called The Hamars of Houlland, less than 200m to the WSW of another chambered cairn (scheduled separately). It was partly excavated in 1949, and has an almost square plan, with a low kerb of large boulders defining an area some 5m square, although the cairn material had been spread out beyond the kerb in places. The cairn now stands up to 1m in height.

Large blocks occur at the corners, except the S, where one appears to have been removed. There is a chamber of rectangular plan with two side recesses, and this was entered by a passage from the SE. The entrance to the passage has been blocked, in antiquity, by a large slab.

As it now appears, the best preserved face of the cairn is the NE, but this may be the result of differential robbing, and the true facade probably lay on the SE side. This would be consistent with an entrance from this side. The area to be scheduled is a square of side 25m oriented NE-SW, to include the cairn and an area around it in which evidence relating to its 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 fine example of a small chambered cairn, one of a pair of near neighbours which are also close to settlement remains of broadly similar date. Together the group has considerable potential to provide evidence relating to Neolithic settlement, economy and funerary practice.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU 27 NW 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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