Chambered Cairn

Site Name Stroma

Classification Chambered Cairn

Alternative Name(s) Stroma Lighthouse; Swilkie Point

Canmore ID 9361

Site Number ND37NE 2

NGR ND 3528 7912

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Canisbay
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND37NE 2 3528 7912

(ND 3528 7912) Chambered Cairn (NR)

OS 6" map, (1970)

This Orkney-Cromarty round cairn is mainly turf-covered with a diameter of 45ft and a height of about 5ft. On the SE side is a garden wall and the remains are more disturbed than in 1911. On the SW side, 11ft within the cairn edge, are exposed four courses of a wall-face 5ft long and evidently part of a wall-face encircling the cairn. Towards the centre, the tops of slabs are exposed.

RCAHMS 1911; A S Henshall 1963.

This cairn is now visible as a grass-covered earth and stone mound 14.0m in diameter and 1.6m high. An excavation has exposed the remains of a chamber in the centre. No traces of a wall-face nor any other significant feature could be found.

Resurveyed at 1.2500.

Visited by OS (RD) 1 March 1965.

The cairn measures approximately 16.0m in diameter by 1.5m high. The only visible stone-work is an alignment of two contiguous slabs, 2.2m long N-S, in the disturbed centre. The NW angle of a garden has destroyed the SE side of the cairn.

Visited by OS (JM) 8 July 1982.

This chambered cairn is on level uncultivated land, about 100m from the rocky coast at 17m OD. The turf-covered cairn has a fairly well-defined edge except on the SE side where it has been removed to make a small walled garden. The cairn has a diameter of about 16m, and rises in a smooth slope to a maximum height of 1.8m but the centre is hollowed and has been much disturbed. On the S side, 3.8m within the edge, three co9urses of a curved wall-face are exposed for a length of 1.6m. On the W side of the central hollow, slightly SW of the centre of the cairn and only 1.45m from the curved wall-face, the upper edges of two contiguous slabs are just exposed. Threy are almost in line facing E and W. Both are 0.05m thick, and their combined length is 2.25m. It is possible that they are one slab broken vertically with half slightly displaced. Curle (RCAHMS, supra) recorded them in 1910 as a single slab 2.6m long. A wall-face 0.6m long runs E from their N end. The tip of a slab leaning to the W can be seen 0.7m E of the centre of the contiguous slabs. This slab was recorded by Curle, 0.2m farther to the E and presumably then upright. It is 0.8m long, the N end not being visible, and 0.08m thick. A third parallel vertical slab was seen by Curle 0.45m to the W of the contiguous slabs, hidden in 1988 under dumped cairn material. In 1988 the tips of two more vertical slabs were noted, both 0.1m thick; their function is not clear. One is nearly parallel to and 4.4m E of the contiguous slabs, and measures 0.45m long. It is not earthfast and may have been broken. The other is between the last mentioned slabs and skew to them, measuring 0.27m long.

J L Davidson and A S Henshall 1991, visited 29 June 1988.



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