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Dornoch, Embo Street

Cairn (Period Unassigned), Cairn (Prehistoric), Cist (Prehistoric), Cist (Period Unassigned), Cup Marked Stone (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Site Name Dornoch, Embo Street

Classification Cairn (Period Unassigned), Cairn (Prehistoric), Cist (Prehistoric), Cist (Period Unassigned), Cup Marked Stone (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Canmore ID 15357

Site Number NH89SW 1

NGR NH 80896 91386

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Dornoch
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NH89SW 1 8089 9138

(NH 8089 9138) Cairn (NR)

Stone Cist (NR)

OS 6" map, (1960).

Before excavation by Tait on 12th April 1867 the cairn of earth and rubble, measured 30' in diameter and 11' in height.

L Tait 1870.

The remains of an excavated circular cairn, with a diameter of some 44'. Near the centre a short cist has been exposed. The slab, which still partially covers the cist, is some 6' in length by 2'4" in breadth across the centre and 6" in thickness. On the underside of this stone, at its W end, is a well-defined cup mark about 2 1/2" across and 3/4" deep. Some 2 1/2" to the S of the cup a shallow groove runs along the centre of the stone from its W end for about 1'11" curving at its E extremity towards the S. There are a number of small hollows on both surfaces, which seem to be natural.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

While inspecting the cairn in January 1933, when it was overgrown by whins, Davidson came across an incised stone among debris in the bottom of the cist. It was a flat sandstone about 18" long tapering from 15" broad to a rounded point. The sculptured device is about 11" long and 4 1/2" wide and 1/4" deep.

J M Davidson 1940.

A whin covered cairn c.12.5m in diameter and c.1.2m high with a central cist as described by RCAHMS. The West end of the cap-stone bearing the cup-mark has been broken off, and could not be found. The surviving part still bearing the groove, is 1.3m long. The cairn is placed to the S of a stream, which has cut slightly into its N arc. Traces of a curving stony bank of uncertain date and purpose extend for about 50.0m to the

W from the SW arc of the cairn.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (A A), 23 March 1971.


Note (20 July 2019)

Date Fieldwork Started: 20/07/2019

Compiled by: NOSAS

Location Notes: The site of the reported panel is a small cairn (Scheduled Monument number 1788; HER number MHG44895). The cairn lies immediately on the S side of a very small burn which runs SE to the Dornoch Firth some 500m to the E. The cairn is about 12.5m in diameter and 1m high. There is a scatter of cairn stones visible through the grass which covers the cairn. The land around the cairn is rough grazing but on the day of the visit it did not appear to have been used by animals for some time. There are two very small mounds to the E of the cairn which may be cairns of clearance cairns, and a hut circle to the SE of the fence line just S of the cairn.

Panel Notes: The possible capstone of the cist is visible, but no carving or rock art can be seen on it. It was not appropriate to move the capstone especially as the cairn is scheduled. The previous report on the cairn describes a groove on the capstone which it states is on its underside, and suggests that the cup-marked part of the stone has been broken in the past and lost. Photographs were taken of the capstone but no 3D model was created.


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