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Publication Account

Date 1985

Event ID 1018899

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


Although the cairn at Clettraval is a long wedge shape, it has suffered severely from robbing, and the original outline is no longer visible; its chamber, however, belongs to the Clyde type and it is thus unique in the Western Isles. At the east end, slabs forming the farade are visible, mainly on the south side of the chamber, where a line of five is conspicuous, now slightly displaced from their true positions. Some kerb-stones can also be seen on the south side of the cairn. Most of the large slabs of the chamber walls also remain, set in overlapping pairs, so that the faces of the chamber walls are not straight, but stepped, rather like the sections of a telescope. There are sill-slabs across the chamber at the junction of each pair of stones. At the west end are two upright slabs, which are the remains of the end compartment A large quantity of neolithic and Beaker pottery, now in NMAS, was found when the cairn was excavated in 1934, but only a few pieces of burnt bone survived of the burial deposits.

Immediately to the west of this, and at a lower level, is the site of a circular house of iron-age date; the inner wall face can be clearly seen in its northern half though obscured by fallen stones on the south side; also in the northern half can be seen several radial walls, like the spokes of a wheel, but the central area was left open. Wheelhouses' such as this are not uncommon in the Uists and Barra, although few are visible above ground.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles’, (1985).

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