Ancient Monuments

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Caen Burn West, 935m WNW of Caen

A Scheduled Monument in East Sutherland and Edderton, Highland

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Latitude: 58.1383 / 58°8'17"N

Longitude: -3.6871 / 3°41'13"W

OS Eastings: 300766

OS Northings: 917835

OS Grid: ND007178

Mapcode National: GBR K786.V2S

Mapcode Global: WH5DL.BPHZ

Entry Name: Caen Burn West, 935m WNW of Caen

Scheduled Date: 16 August 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13647

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: long cairn

Location: Kildonan

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: East Sutherland and Edderton

Traditional County: Sutherland


The monument is the remains of a long cairn dating from the Neolithic period, probably built and in use between 3800 BC and 2500 BC. It survives as a substantial trapezoidal cairn located on a level terrace on the hillside overlooking the Strath of Kildonan, about 38m above sea level.

The cairn measures about 44m in length by around 17m in width at the east end, narrowing to about 12m at the west end. It measures around 1m in height. The eastern end of the cairn narrows gently from east to west, while the western end is parallel sided with a squared end. Remains of a possible kerb are visible on the north side. The cairn has been disturbed and much of the stone removed from the centre of the monument. A later enclosure, likely constructed from robbed cairn material, overlies and extends to the east of the cairn.

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

This 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 and ritual practices and their significance in Neolithic society. The long cairn is an impressive monument and can be compared with a group of other long cairns that survive in the vicinity. Long cairns 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. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the meaning and importance of death, burial and ritual in the Neolithic and the placing of cairns within the landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 7434 (accessed on 29/04/2015).

The Highland Council HER reference is MHG10122 (accessed on 29/4/2015)

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.

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

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