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Cairn of Heathercow, long cairn, Brabster Moss

A Scheduled Monument in Thurso and Northwest Caithness, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 58.5232 / 58°31'23"N

Longitude: -3.3012 / 3°18'4"W

OS Eastings: 324314

OS Northings: 960180

OS Grid: ND243601

Mapcode National: GBR L666.BJ6

Mapcode Global: WH6D5.818D

Entry Name: Cairn of Heathercow, long cairn, Brabster Moss

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1934

Last Amended: 21 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM434

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: long cairn

Location: Bower

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Thurso and Northwest Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness

Description

The monument comprises an Orkney-Cromarty-type long cairn with a pentagonal chamber. The monument was originally scheduled in 1934, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The grass-covered cairn measures c. 49m along its axis, standing 2.4m high at the NE end. The SW of the cairn has been robbed, exposing three large upright slabs which may have formed part of a second chamber. Where visible, the cairn appears to be made of irregular rounded stones.

In 1871 a 'stone coffin' containing human remains and a pot were reportedly found in the cairn. The site was investigated by Tress Barry around 1904 when a slab lined chamber located in the NE corner was excavated. The chamber was found to contain fragments of an urn and horse's teeth.

The area to be scheduled is four-sided with maximum dimensions along its long and short sides of 68m and 41m respectively, to include the long cairn and an area around 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 the remains of a prehistoric chambered long cairn which has the potential to provide important information on and to enhance our understanding of the funerary and ritual architecture of the Neolithic period in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as ND26SW2.

References:

Davidson J L and Henshall A S 1991, THE CHAMBERED CAIRNS OF CAITHNESS: AN INVENTORY OF THE STRUCTURES AND THEIR CONTENTS, Edinburgh, 95-6, No. 11.

Henshall A S 1963a, THE CHAMBERED TOMBS OF SCOTLAND, 1, Edinburgh, 260-2, CAT 11.

ORDNANCE SURVEY (NAME BOOK), Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Book No. 1, 39.

OSA 1791-9, THE STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND, DRAWN UP FROM THE COMMUNICATIONS OF THE MINISTERS OF THE DIFFERENT PARISHES, Sinclair J (Sir): Edinburgh, Vol. 7, 522.

RCAHMS 1911b, THIRD REPORT AND INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTY OF CAITHNESS, Edinburgh, HMSO, 3, No. 5.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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