Great Bernera, 'tursachan', Barraglom

Standing Stone(s)

Site Name Great Bernera, 'tursachan', Barraglom

Classification Standing Stone(s)

Alternative Name(s) Bernera Bridge

Canmore ID 4112

Site Number NB13SE 2

NGR NB 1642 3424

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Uig
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

1642 3424.

(NB 1642 3424) Tursachan (NR). (Supposed Druidical Remains).

OS 25" map, 1897.

Three standing stones and a prostrate pillar stone occupying a very unusual position on a steep rocky slope ending in a cliff. While the erect slabs form the northern arc of a circle, they are placed with their broad faces looking towards the water. The most westerly stone, which stands 61'6" from the most easterly stone measures 7'6" in height, 4' in width and 19" in thickness, while the latter, which is the smallest of the group, and is placed within 12' of the cliff edge, is 3' high, 4' broad and from 2" to 10" thick. The most southerly (northerly) stone, which stands 33'11" distant from the first stone and from the second, measures 9'1" in height, 3'6" in breadth and 13" in thickness, and the prostrate stone, which lies 9'2" distant between it and the smallest slab, is 8'3" long, 3'9" broad and 1'5" thick.

B Somerville 1912; RCAHMS 1928, visited 1914.

Three standing stones and one prostrate stone, as described by the RCAHMS and illustrated by Somerville. As all the stones face S, it cannot be assumed that this is a stone circle. Name 'Tursachan' still known locally.

Visited by OS (NKB) 22 June 1969.

Investigation in 1989 confirmed that the cobbled surface extended S to a built up retaining wall, itself built on bedrock at the top of a cliff. Two elongated stones, 1m and 1.6m long, were originally set upright on top of the cobbled platform. In antiquity most of the packing stones had been dismantled and set aside on the cobbles and the two erect stones dismantled.

The precise positions and orientations of the latter were determined, 0.8m apart, and some packing stones and a padstone under the larger stone were found in situ. These were reset in concrete and the two elongated stones re-erected.

The packing stones that had been set aside were also reincorporated in the structure, with concrete, but their exact positions remain conjectural due to the prehistoric dismantling and due to damage by an adjacent water pipe trench.

Sponsors: Comte de la Lanne Mirrlees; SDD HBM.

G Curtis and M Curtis 1989b.

Further investigation was undertaken in 1990 to establish relative stratigraphy of built-up platform areas. Another prone stone, erected and dismantled in antiquity, was confirmed.

Sponsors: Comte de la Lanne Mirlees, HBM.

G R Curtis and M R Curtis 1990b.

Scheduled as Bernera Bridge, stone setting, Great Bernera.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 22 January 1993.



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