Ancient Monuments

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Creag Bhreac Mhor, stone rows 200m ESE of

A Scheduled Monument in Thurso and Northwest Caithness, Highland

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Latitude: 58.5705 / 58°34'13"N

Longitude: -3.7008 / 3°42'2"W

OS Eastings: 301174

OS Northings: 965975

OS Grid: ND011659

Mapcode National: GBR K672.FHT

Mapcode Global: WH5BG.3VZ4

Entry Name: Creag Bhreac Mhor, stone rows 200m ESE of

Scheduled Date: 26 February 1964

Last Amended: 16 September 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2386

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: stone rows

Location: Reay

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Thurso and Northwest Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness


The monument is a group of standing stones, aligned in rows, thought to date from the Bronze Age (2500 to 800 BC). Within Scotland, stone rows are a site type only found in Caithness and Sutherland. The monument is located on gently sloping moorland and lies around 70m above sea level.

The monument is visible as at least 18 small standing stones, typically measuring around 0.2-0.4m in height and similar in width, set out over several parallel alignments.  A survey in 1911 recorded around 115 standing stones in 13 rows with 56 stones noted as visible over 6 rows in 1964. Many of these missing stones are likely to remain in situ but have been obscured by peat and heather growth. The monument is located in a slight hollow on gently sloping, open moorland. The site has extensive views to the northwest while being overlooked from all other directions by nearby hill slopes.  

The scheduled area is irregular on plan and includes 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 monument was first scheduled in 1964, 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 our knowledge and understanding of the past, particularly the design and construction of stone rows in Caithness and Sutherland. These stone rows have good field characteristics, allowing us to interpret their form and position in the landscape. There is the potential for the presence of buried archaeological remains, including artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence. There are numerous other broadly contemporary monuments in the vicinity, including other stone rows, which together can contribute to our understanding of the nature of the prehistoric 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 the use of stone rows and their role and function within society in prehistoric times, and the placing of such monuments within the landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 7898 (accessed on 21/04/2015).

Highland Council HER reference number MHG923 (accessed on 17/02/2016)

Caithness: Battlemoss Excavation (accessed on 17/02/2016)

Baines and Brophy, A and K. (2006) Battle Moss, Highland (Wick parish), excavation , Discovery Excav Scot, vol. 7, 2006. Dorchester. Page 103.

Baines, Brophy and Pannett, A, K and A. (2003) Yarrows Landscape Project/Battle Moss Stone Rows (Wick parish), multiple stone rows; kerb cairn; lithic scatter , Discovery Excav Scot, vol. 4, 2003. Pages 94-5.

Barber and Heald, J and A. (2015). Caithness Archaeology: Aspects of Prehistory. Whittles Publishing, Dunbeath.

Burl, A. (1993). From Carnac to Callanish: The Prehistoric Stone Rows and Avenues of Britain, Ireland and Brittany. Vale University Press, London.

Davis, A. (1986). 'The Metrology of Stone Rows: A Reassessment'. Glasgow Archaeological Journal, volume 13. Pages 44-53.

Freer and Myatt, R and L J. (1982-5). 'The multiple stone rows of Caithness and Sutherland: Volumes 1-4'. Caithness Field Club Bulletin.

RCAHMS. (1911). The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness. London. Pages: 107-8.

Ruggles, C. (2003). Records In Stone: Papers in Memory of Alexander Thom. Cambridge University Press.

Thom, A. (1971). Megalithic lunar observatories. Oxford.


HER/SMR Reference

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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