Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Whiteleys, chambered cairn 300m south west of Craig Ruadh

A Scheduled Monument in Dingwall and Seaforth, Highland

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Latitude: 57.5747 / 57°34'28"N

Longitude: -4.459 / 4°27'32"W

OS Eastings: 253043

OS Northings: 856511

OS Grid: NH530565

Mapcode National: GBR H8CP.VLQ

Mapcode Global: WH3DN.GWW1

Entry Name: Whiteleys, chambered cairn 300m SW of Craig Ruadh

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1976

Last Amended: 6 May 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3846

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Fodderty

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Dingwall and Seaforth

Traditional County: Ross-shire


The monument is the remains of a Neolithic chambered cairn probably built between 3800 and 2500 BC. It is visible as a group of large stones, around seven of which define a polygonal chamber. The cairn lies 90m above sea level, near the top of an east facing slope that overlooks the head of the Cromarty Firth.

The monument is an Orkney-Cromarty type chambered cairn. Seven stones define a polygonal chamber but there are other large slabs in the vicinity. One of these recumbent stones, immediately to the northwest of the chamber, has possible cup marks. A low, grass-covered subcircular mound about 25m in diameter and 1m in height appears to represent the remains of the cairn surrounding the chamber.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, 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 scheduling specifically excludes the above ground elements of post and wire fences and a gate. The monument was first scheduled in 1976, but the documentation does 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 prehistoric burial monuments. It continues to be visible as an upstanding field monument, and unlike some other cairns in the area the mound around the chamber remains an upstanding feature. Chambered cairns are often our main source of evidence for the Neolithic in Scotland, and can enhance our understanding of Neolithic society and economy, and as well as the nature of burial practices and belief systems. This chambered cairn is one of an important group of well-preserved Neolithic burial monuments close to the coast between Beauly and Brora. They are important surviving components of what would have been a wider prehistoric landscape of settlement, agriculture and ritual. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the meaning and importance of death and burial in prehistoric times and the placing of cairns within the landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 12822 (accessed on 05/05/2016).

The Highland Council Historic Environment Record reference is MHG9029.

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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