Ancient Monuments

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Cairn Kinna, two cairns 960m ESE of Corrafeckloch

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Galloway and Wigtown West, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.0914 / 55°5'28"N

Longitude: -4.6058 / 4°36'21"W

OS Eastings: 233799

OS Northings: 580538

OS Grid: NX337805

Mapcode National: GBR 4B.P7T0

Mapcode Global: WH3SS.7907

Entry Name: Cairn Kinna, two cairns 960m ESE of Corrafeckloch

Scheduled Date: 12 October 1937

Last Amended: 13 December 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1008

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Minnigaff

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Mid Galloway and Wigtown West

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire


The monument is the remains of two round cairns, probably dating to the Bronze Age (between 2500 BC and 800 BC). The cairns are visible as two mounds of stone, partly turf-covered. The larger cairn measures about 17m in diameter and two metres in height, while the second smaller cairn lies about 30m south and measures about six metres in diameter and 0.4m in height. The monument lies at around 200m above sea level, on the southwest facing slope of Balunton Hill.

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

Cultural Significance

The cultural significance of this monument has been assessed as follows:

Intrinsic Characteristics

The monument consists of two cairns probably dating to the Bronze Age (between 2500 BC and 800 BC).  The northern cairn is a visually impressive monument, around 17m in diameter and standing up to 2m in height and is constructed from large boulders. In contrast, the second cairn measures is only about 6m in diameter and 0.4m in height and is constructed using smaller stones. It is recorded that a shallow ditch surrounded this cairn.

Although the northern cairn has been disturbed in the past, its form and structure remains intact. The smaller cairn appears undisturbed. Therefore there is good potential for the survival of buried archaeological deposits, including human burials, artefacts and environmental remains such as pollen and charcoal, within, beneath and around the upstanding structure of both cairns. The archaeological deposits have the potential to provide information about the date of the monument and ritual and funerary practices, while artefacts and ecofacts can enhance understanding of contemporary economy, land-use and environment.

Round cairns are typically considered to date to the Bronze Age and were used for burial and ritual. The differing dimensions of the two cairns may indicate they were constructed at different dates and served slightly different purposes, and this monument has the potential to increase our knowledge of the development of burial and ritual practices over time. Scientific study of the cairns could clarify their character and date and enhance our understanding of their development sequence.

Contextual Characteristics

Round cairns are found throughout Scotland. The examples at Cairn Kinna are of particular significance because of their close proximity and differing character. They are part of a broader concentration of round cairns along the Cree Valley including White Cairn (scheduled monument reference SM1048; Canmore ID 63008), Clachaneasy Bridge (Canmore ID 62998), Cordorcan (scheduled monument reference SM10385; Canmore ID 63027) and Drumfern (scheduled monument reference SM1019; Canmore ID 63026). Additionally two chambered cairns of earlier date (Cairnderry and White Cairn; scheduled monument references SM1007 and 1049, Canmore ID 63003 and 62997) lie around 2km southwest and 2.5km south-southeast. Their proximity is of particular interest and shows a long history of burial activity in this area. The proximity of these monuments can give important insights into the prehistoric landscape and the placing of such sites in the landscape, and add to our understanding of funerary and ritual practice, social organisation and land-use during the Bronze Age. There is potential to study such sites together to understand their functions within the local communities and possible chronological development in the area.

Associative Characteristics

At this time, there are no known associative characteristics which significantly contribute to the site's cultural significance.

Statement of National Importance

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 use of burial monuments in southwest Scotland. Both cairns retain good field characteristics; the large northern cairn is a visually impressive monument while the southern cairn is an undisturbed example of a smaller round cairn. Both cairns, and the area between them, are likely to preserve significant archaeological deposits relating to the construction, use and abandonment of this burial place. Round cairns are significantly in our understanding of burial practices and belief systems during later prehistory. This monument's importance is enhanced by the contrasting nature of the two cairns and their association with a wider cluster of other prehistoric burial sites.




Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 68801 and 68802 (accessed on 13/09/2016).

Dumfries and Galloway Historic Environment Record reference number: MDG8217, MDG8218 (accessed on 13/09/2016).

Yates, M. J. (1984) Bronze Age round cairns in Dumfries and Galloway: an inventory and discussion. BAR British Series 132.

RCAHMS (1914) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Fifth report and inventory of monuments and constructions in Galloway, II, County of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. Edinburgh.


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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