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Mains Of Assynt

Cairn (Prehistoric), Cist (Prehistoric), Necklace (Jet)(Prehistoric), Urn (Prehistoric)

Site Name Mains Of Assynt

Classification Cairn (Prehistoric), Cist (Prehistoric), Necklace (Jet)(Prehistoric), Urn (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Assynt

Canmore ID 12886

Site Number NH56NE 5

NGR NH 5906 6704

NGR Description nh C.590 670

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Alness
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NH56NE 5 590 670.

The destruction of a cairn "near Assynt in Ross-shire", (reported in a letter to Dr. Hibbert from Sir George Mackenzie of Coul dated September, 15th, 1824 in Archaeol Scot 1831) revealed a cist in which were some bones, an urn and jet ornaments. The cairn was stated to have been 'near the old house of Assynt, and in front of a new farmhouse which Alex. Fraser of Inch Coulter, Ross-shire, lately built there'. The illustration given by Mackensie does not show the four plates illustrated for the first time by Wilson, and these plates are not now with the necklace, donated in 1824 by Fraser to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland [NMAS] - EQ4, although it is otherwise as Wilson shows it. The urn does not appear to have been preserved.

C Innes 1862; D Wilson 1851.

The farmer at Assynt knew nothing of cairn or necklace and no trace of the former is to be found in the area.

Visited by OS (R D L) 3 May 1963


Note (1979)

Assynt NH c.590 670 NH56NE 5

When this barrow was destroyed in 1824 a cist containing an inhumation accompanied by an 'urn' and a jet necklace (NMAS EO 84) was found.


(MacKenzie 1831 ; Innes 1860, 46-7)

External Reference (2010)

NMS museum number for the jet necklace is EQ 84, not EQ 43. The illustration in Wilson 1851 is probably not the Assynt necklace, as has been pointed out by later writers including J. Graham Callander ‘Notice of a jet necklace found in a cist in a Bronze Age cemetery, discovered in Burgie Lodge Farm, Morayshire, with notes on Scottish Prehistoric jet ornaments,’ PSAS 50 (1915-6), p. 213-4)

Information from the ARCH Community Timeline course 2010


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