Ancient Monuments

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Rubh' an t-Sean-Chaisteil, cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Fort William and Ardnamurchan, Highland

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Latitude: 56.5791 / 56°34'44"N

Longitude: -5.9904 / 5°59'25"W

OS Eastings: 155032

OS Northings: 750144

OS Grid: NM550501

Mapcode National: GBR CCLB.8X1

Mapcode Global: WGZD6.YWMS

Entry Name: Rubh' an t-Sean-Chaisteil, cairn

Scheduled Date: 30 January 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10572

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: ring cairn

Location: Kilninian and Kilmore

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Fort William and Ardnamurchan

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a ring cairn of prehistoric date. The cairn is visible as a grass-covered mound, lying at about 10m OD in rough moorland on a coastal headland.

This circular cairn comprises a central mound surrounded by an external ditch and counterscarp bank. The cairn is composed of earth and stone, and is about 19m in diameter by up to 1.8m in height. Some stone robbing is evident, particularly on the western and southern sides, the latter exposing a few in situ kerb stones.

The concentric ditch measures some 2-3m wide and is 0.2-0.3m in depth. The ditch profile is well defined on the eastern and western sides; elsewhere its course can be traced by the bracken growing in its base. The remains of the counterscarp bank are present immediately outside the ditch. The bank is about 3m wide at its base and stands 0.2-0.4m high. It is well defined an all sides, except to the N.

Cairns of this type are funerary monuments and generally date to the Neolithic or Bronze Age (third or second millennium BC). The cairn may be expected to contain material relating to its mode of construction and use.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material is likely to survive. It is circular in shape with a diameter of 45m, centred on the cairn, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric funerary and ritual practices. Its importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM 55 SE 5.


Cregeen, E. R. (1957) 'Ardnacross, Mull', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, 1957, 9.

RCAHMS (1980) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. 'Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 3: Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll (excluding the early medieval and later monuments of Iona)'. Edinburgh, 50, No. 10(3).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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