Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Caen, long cairn and round cairn 470m and 490m west of

A Scheduled Monument in East Sutherland and Edderton, Highland

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 58.1377 / 58°8'15"N

Longitude: -3.6792 / 3°40'45"W

OS Eastings: 301224

OS Northings: 917759

OS Grid: ND012177

Mapcode National: GBR K786.Z86

Mapcode Global: WH5DL.GQ6F

Entry Name: Caen, long cairn and round cairn 470m and 490m W of

Scheduled Date: 11 December 1934

Last Amended: 16 August 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1770

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: long ca

Location: Kildonan

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: East Sutherland and Edderton

Traditional County: Sutherland


The monument is a chambered long cairn dating from the Neolithic period, probably built between 3800 BC and 2500 BC, a round cairn, probably Bronze Age in date (between 2500 BC and 800 BC), and a roundhouse, likely dating to the Late Bronze Age or Iron Age (between 1500 BC and AD 400). The long cairn is visible as a substantial trapezoidal cairn of exposed stone.  The round cairn visible as a small mound of earth and stone, the roundhouse as a small upstanding structure defined by a penanular bank of turf and stone. The monument is located on a level terrace on the hillside overlooking the Strath of Kildonan, about 38m above sea level.                       

The long cairn measures about 53m in length by 19.5m in width at the east end, narrowing to around 10m at the west end. It reaches a maximum height of about 3m near the eastern edge, reducing in height towards the west end which is parallel-sided and squared. The cairn has been robbed and disturbed in places, and the presence of a chamber is indicated by two large parallel slabs visible in the disturbance at the eastern end. The round cairn and roundhouse both lie about 10m south of the west end of the long cairn, set around 4m apart. The round cairn lies to the west and measures about 5m in diameter and about 0.6m in height, while the roundhouse is around 3m in diameter within low turf and stone walls with an entrance on the southwest.

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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the design and construction of burial monuments, and the nature of burial practices and their significance in Neolithic society, as well as Bronze Age and Iron Age society, agriculture and economy in the north of Scotland. The long cairn is a visually impressive monument that retains its field characteristics and demonstrates a complex development sequence. It can be compared with a varied group of other long cairns that survive in the vicinity. The burial cairn and roundhouse are good examples of a burial monument and later prehistoric settlement located with reference to an earlier ritual monument. Chambered cairns are often our main source of evidence for the Neolithic in Scotland, and can  enhance our understanding of Neolithic society and economy, as well as the nature of burial practices and belief systems. They are an important component of the wider prehistoric landscape of settlement, agriculture and ritual. Round cairns and roundhouses can significantly expand our understanding of burial practices and belief systems, domestic buildings, agriculture and economy during later prehistory. The monument's importance is enhanced by its association with a wider cluster of later prehistoric remains. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the meaning and importance of death and burial in the Neolithic and Bronze Age and the placing of cairns within the landscape, as well as our understanding of Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements, society and economy and the influence of Neolithic ritual monuments on the siting of later prehistoric ritual and domestic sites.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 7486, 7440, 7445

The Highland Council HER references are MHG10161, MHG10292, MHG10132.

Fairhurst, H. and Taylor, D. B. (1974) A hut-circle settlement at Kilphedir, Sutherland, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 103, 1970-1.

Henshall, A S. (1963) The chambered tombs of Scotland, vol. 1. Edinburgh.

Henshall, A.S. and Ritchie J.N.G. (1995) The chambered cairns of Sutherland. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh.

MacIntyre, A. (1998) Survey and excavation at Kilearnan Hill, Sutherland, 1982-3. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 128, 167-201.

RCAHMS. (1911) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland. Edinburgh.


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.