Ancient Monuments

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Heights of Brae, chambered cairn 375m NNW of Firth View

A Scheduled Monument in Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh, Highland

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Latitude: 57.6192 / 57°37'9"N

Longitude: -4.4888 / 4°29'19"W

OS Eastings: 251445

OS Northings: 861528

OS Grid: NH514615

Mapcode National: GBR H89L.6M0

Mapcode Global: WH3DG.0RRF

Entry Name: Heights of Brae, chambered cairn 375m NNW of Firth View

Scheduled Date: 11 August 1964

Last Amended: 27 April 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2312

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Fodderty

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh

Traditional County: Ross-shire


The monument is the remains of a chambered cairn dating from the Neolithic period, probably built between 3800 and 2500 BC. It is visible as a group of upstanding stones surrounded by a slight bank that probably indicates the original extent of the cairn. The remains lie 245m above sea level on a prominent knoll that stands on the broad ridge separating Strathpeffer to the south and Strath Sgitheach to the north.

The cairn material is largely gone but the structural stones of the chamber survive. Four large stones form one burial chamber to the south and further stones to the north indicate a second chamber built on a parallel axis, sited closer to the summit of the knoll. The entrance to the cairn probably lies to the east of the south chamber, where three pairs of low, transverse slabs, recorded in the past, suggest a short passage and outer chamber. The subtle remains of a low bank or scarp surrounding the knoll suggest the original cairn measured about 23m in diameter.   

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 40m in diameter, to include 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. The monument was first scheduled in 1964, but the documentation did not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument has potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past, in particular the design and construction of burial monuments and the nature of burial practices and belief systems in the Neolithic. Ritual and funerary monuments are often our main source of evidence for human activity during the Neolithic in Scotland. They are particularly important for enhancing our understanding of Neolithic society, its organisation, economy, religion and demography. This monument retains its field characteristics to a marked degree. The large upright stones of the south chamber are visually impressive and the form of the monument, with evidence for multiple chambers, can contribute to our understanding of the development and architecture of chambered cairns. Chambered cairns are an important component in understanding the prehistoric landscape of land-use, settlement and ritual. They are thought often to be positioned with reference to astronomical phenomena, and the orientation and position of Heights of Brae within the landscape is likely to be significant. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the meaning and importance of death and burial in prehistory

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 12930 (accessed on 26/04/2016).

The Highland Council Historic Environment Record reference is MHG8919.

Davidson, J L and Henshall, A S 1989, The chambered cairns of Orkney: an inventory of the structures and their contents, Edinburgh.


HER/SMR Reference

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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