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Skye, Suardal

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Skye, Suardal

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Sithean

Canmore ID 11601

Site Number NG62SW 4

NGR NG 62726 22027

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Strath
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire


Field Visit (12 May 1914)

Chambered Cairn, Sithean (fairy knowe).

At Sithean, about 1 3/8 miles south-west of Broadford and some 20 yards west of the road to Torran, at an elevation of about 150 feet above sea-level, on a grass-covered rocky knowe, are the remains of what seems to have been a chambered cairn. Overlooked by Beinn na Caillich, which towers about 2000 feet above it to the north-west, it commands a fine view down Strath Suardal to the southwest with Loch Cill Chriosd in the distance, and approached from this direction it stands up a prominent object near the summit of a sharp rise. A large part of the cairn, especially on the north-eastern segment, has been removed, no doubt to furnish building material for a row of houses, now in ruins, which runs in a northerly direction from its eastern side. The cairn seems to have been circular, but at present measures about 81 feet from north-east to south-west and about 71 feet from north-west to south-east, and at most it is 9 feet in height. A large portion of the central part of the cairn has been removed, but six upright slabs, varying from 1 foot 4 inches to 2 feet 8 inches in height above the stones in which they are set, are left standing, and give an indication of a central chamber. The three most westerly slabs, which are the largest of the six, form the south-eastern arc of a circular structure about 9 feet in diameter, and the relative position of the adjoining stone is such that it might have formed part of the southern wall of an entrance passage. The remaining two stones do not fit into the plan of a straight entrance passage, but they may have been displaced.

In one of the adjoining houses, of which only the ruins remain, Wm. Ross, the Gaelic bard, was born in the year 1762.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 12 May 1914.

OS map: Skye xlvi (unnoted).

Desk Based Assessment (1972)

NG62SW 4 6272 2203.

(NG 6272 2203) Chambered Cairn (NR)

OS 6"map, (1967)

The remains of a probably Hebridean type chambered cairn conspicuously surmounting a small rocky knoll amid rough grazing which has been cultivated at some time. It appears to be about 75' in diameter with a maximum height of 6' but part of this is probably natural. The surface is mostly turf-covered.

It has been greatly reduced and the original edge is difficult to define and has been completely removed round most of the east side. Six orthostats project from the cairn material and appear to be part of a chamber oriented ESE-WNW, entered from the former end. Three of the stones have obviously been reduced in height either by man or by natural fracturing and other stones may also have been reduced.

RCAHMS 1928; A S Henshall 1972.


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