Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Urchany, barrow 595m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.473 / 57°28'22"N

Longitude: -4.5985 / 4°35'54"W

OS Eastings: 244268

OS Northings: 845507

OS Grid: NH442455

Mapcode National: GBR H80Z.B9Z

Mapcode Global: WH3F5.BFGG

Entry Name: Urchany, barrow 595m SW of

Scheduled Date: 10 October 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13523

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Kilmorack

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument is a prehistoric burial monument dating probably to the 2nd millennium BC (Bronze Age). It appears to be a bowl barrow with an external ditch and bank, which is a rare form of burial monument in Scotland. The barrow survives as a prominent, circular, grass-covered mound, built mainly of earth but with some stone visible in its sides. The central mound, which probably contains one or more burials, is approximately 9m in diameter and stands 1.5m high. It is surrounded by a ditch, approximately 3m wide, and an external bank approximately 3.5m wide and standing up to 0.9m high. The ditch and bank are well-defined around the NW, SW and SE sides, but the bank has been disturbed by later activity around its NE arc. A causeway which crosses the ditch on the W side of the barrow, linking the central mound and the outer bank, is probably a later addition, perhaps associated with a nearby Improvement period farmstead. The monument is situated on a large glacial drumlin at the head of a glen, at around 220m above sea level, with extensive views to the SW, SE and NE.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, 40m in diameter, centred on the barrow. It includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a prehistoric burial mound with an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, particularly the design and construction of burial monuments, the nature of burial practices, and their significance in Bronze Age and later society. The Urchany barrow is particularly important as it appears to be a well-preserved, rare type of burial monument - a bowl barrow with its distinctive field characteristics - a type of barrow more commonly associated with ritual and funerary landscapes in Wessex. It has high potential to add to our understanding of differing forms of burial monument and practices during the Bronze Age. The monument has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of the form, function and distribution of Bronze Age burial monuments, which are an important part of Highland's prehistoric landscape. The loss of this monument would significantly diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape and the meaning and importance placed on of death and burial in prehistoric times.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Highland Historic Environment Record records the monument as MHG56050. A Canmore record is in preparation (July 2014).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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