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Wester Yardhouses

Burial Cairn (Prehistoric), Carving (Prehistoric), Short Cist, Beaker

Site Name Wester Yardhouses

Classification Burial Cairn (Prehistoric), Carving (Prehistoric), Short Cist, Beaker

Canmore ID 49012

Site Number NT05SW 11

NGR NT 005 507

NGR Description NT c. 005 507

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Lanarkshire
  • Parish Carnwath
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Clydesdale
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Archaeology Notes

NT05SW 11 c. 005 507.

A small cairn which formerly stood a short distance N of the steading of Wester Yardhouses (NT 005 507) was destroyed about 1870. It is said (D R Rankin 1875) to have measured about 6.4m in circumference, and would thus appear to have been close to the average size of cairns in the concentrations noted in the vicinity (e.g. NT05SW 14 and NT04NW 31).

The cairn contained a short cist, aligned N-S, which was constructed of four slabs and had a capstone decorated on its underside. No traces of any skeletal remains were observed, the only recorded find being a beaker, of ? N 2 (L) type (D L Clarke 1970), which was broken soon

after removal. The capstone measures about 1.2m by 1.0m, and bears a remarkable series of curvilinear and triangular designs. These motifs belong to what has become known as the 'Passage-grave' style, which was in use in Ireland by the middle of the third millenium BC. The carvings were not executed by those who erected the cairn, for portions of some of the designs were destroyed when the stone was trimmed for re-use in the cist. The capstone and a fragment of the beaker are preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS Accession nos EQ 165, 166).

Some time before the destruction of the above cairn, a number of cairns were removed, apparently from the same general area, without any artifacts being found although it was noted that the earth beneath the cairns was red in colour. This discoloration was said not to occur anywhere else in the vicinity and was probably the result of burning, evidence for which has frequently been found during the excavation of broadly similar small cairns elsewhere.

RCAHMS 1978, visited 1976

No traces of any cairns were seen in the area N of Wester Yardhouses.

Visited by OS (DWR) 12 July 1971.


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