Ancient Monuments

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Pityoulish, barrow cemetery 465m WSW of West Croftmore

A Scheduled Monument in Badenoch and Strathspey, Highland

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Latitude: 57.2158 / 57°12'56"N

Longitude: -3.7706 / 3°46'14"W

OS Eastings: 293166

OS Northings: 815283

OS Grid: NH931152

Mapcode National: GBR K91N.CHM

Mapcode Global: WH5K0.1WRN

Entry Name: Pityoulish, barrow cemetery 465m WSW of West Croftmore

Scheduled Date: 15 February 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13633

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Abernethy and Kincardine

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Badenoch and Strathspey

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument is a group of related burial mounds, collectively known as a barrow cemetery, and probably dating to the second half of the first millennium AD. The monument is located in Strathspey, on a low ridge 170m south of the River Spey and lies at 210m above sea level.

The cemetery comprises at least four ditched barrows constructed of a mixture of earth and stone. Three barrows are sub-circular, ranging from 6.75 m to 8.5 m in diameter, and standing up to 0.5 m in height. One barrow is roughly square, measuring 9.1 m in length by 9.3 m transversely and approximately 0.5 m in height. Each barrow has the remains of an enclosing ditch, up to 0.3 m in depth. The ditch around the square mound is broken by a causeway at each corner. At least one of the sub-circular barrow ditches is also interrupted by a causeway. The sub-circular barrows contain a stone protruding from the mound. An additional sub-circular barrow, located at the extreme south of the group, was excavated in the mid-20th century.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon, to include the remains described above and an area in which evidence for their construction and use is expected to survive, as shown in red on the attached map. The scheduling excludes the post-and-wire fence.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is a rare and distinctive example of a barrow cemetery of the first millennium AD. It is a very well preserved site with upstanding remains and features such as causeways and stone markers. Previous excavation has demonstrated good preservation of archaeological deposits and features. It has the potential to inform research into the development of barrow cemeteries and burial practices of the time. This monument can also help inform our understanding of contemporary society and their political entities within the Early Historic period and about the process of conversion to Christianity. Due to the rarity of similar sites and the very good state of preservation of this example, its loss would significantly detract from our ability to understand these forms of monument and interpret the society that buried their dead in them, both in this locality and throughout Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 15389.

Highland Council Historic Environment Record reference: MHG4583.

Close-Brookes, J (1984) 'Pictish and other burials', BAR, vol. 125, 1984. Pages: 87-114.

Grime, D and Maclagan Wedderburn, L (1984) 'The cairn cemetery at Garbeg, Drumnadrochit, BAR, vol. 125, 1984. Pages 151-168.

Morris, C and Pearson, N (1984) 'Burials in Birsay, Orkney', BAR, vol. 125, 1984. Pages 135-144.

Rae, A and Rae, V (1955) 'A bowl barrow at Pityoulish, in Strathspey', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 87, 1955. Pages: 153-60.


HER/SMR Reference

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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