Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Berriedale Water, cairn 250m NNW of Millery

A Scheduled Monument in Wick and East Caithness, Highland

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Latitude: 58.2102 / 58°12'36"N

Longitude: -3.5192 / 3°31'9"W

OS Eastings: 310829

OS Northings: 925611

OS Grid: ND108256

Mapcode National: GBR K7P0.SS2

Mapcode Global: WH5D8.XWCV

Entry Name: Berriedale Water, cairn 250m NNW of Millery

Scheduled Date: 15 June 1939

Last Amended: 26 October 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM422

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Latheron

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wick and East Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness


The monument is a burial cairn dating from the Late Neolithic to Bronze Age (the fourth and third millennia BC). The cairn is visible as a roughly circular mound of earth and stone standing up to 1.4m high The monument is situated in a prominent location on the west side of a valley above Berriedale Water, at around 115m above sea level.

The cairn is approximately 14m in diameter overall and there are two depressions on the southwest and east sides of the cairn which may indicate collapsed chambers within the cairn. Adjacent to the cairn, only a few metres to the northwest, lie the remains of a hut circle measuring 4m in diameter. The monument is located on moorland with open views, mainly across the Berriedale Water and is in close proximity to other prehistoric remains.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 34m in diameter, centred on the monument. The scheduling includes the remains described above including the hut circle 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 1939, but the documentation did not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to knowledge and understanding of the past, particularly the design and construction of burial monuments, and the nature of belief systems and burial practices during the Bronze Age in Caithness. The cairn has good field characteristics that show its form and its place in the landscape, and demonstrate the potential for the presence of buried archaeological remains, including burials, artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence. There are numerous other prehistoric remains in the vicinity of the cairn, which together contribute to our understanding of the form of the pre-historic landscape.  This is important for enhancing our understanding of Bronze Age society, its organisation, economy, religion and demography. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand funerary practice, death and burial in prehistoric times, and the placing of such monuments within the landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 8061.

Highland Council HER Reference: MHG 1092.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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