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St. Sciber's Grave, Sciberscross


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Cairn(S) (Prehistoric), Cist (Prehistoric), Brooch (Bronze)(Prehistoric)

Site Name St. Sciber's Grave, Sciberscross

Classification Cairn(S) (Prehistoric), Cist (Prehistoric), Brooch (Bronze)(Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 6063

Site Number NC71SE 2

NGR NC 7786 1007

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NC71SE 2 778 100.

(A - NC 7786 1007 : B - NC 7785 1005) Cairns (NR)

OS 6"map, (1969)

From a cist within a large cairn known as Sciber's Grave on the farm of Sciberscross, cam a bronze, or brass brooch with traces of gilding. The earliest form of the farm name is Siberscaig. The brooch is in Dunrobin Museum, donated by the late Mr Hall several years before 1882.

J A Smith 1882.

On a slight eminence in a meadow is a cairn (A) 33ft in diameter and now 4ft high. The upper part has been removed and a cist exposed, of which the cap-stone, 4ft 4ins by 2ft 9ins, the ends and one side remain. It lies WSW-ENE and is 3ft 7ins inside length. The cairn is outlined by large contiguous boulders 1 1/2 - 2ft in length.

Some 30ft to the E is another cairn (B) which has been excavated and the cist displaced. It is 30ft 9 ins in diameter and about 4ft high. Around the base is a setting of large but not contiguous boulders.

A further probable cairn occurs 20ft N of cairn 'A'. It survives as a mound, about 5ft high and 19ft in diameter, from the slope of which some large stones protrude.

Some 40yds from cairn 'A' is a natural mound with a cairn surmounting it. The cairn measures 27ft in diameter with an outline of contiguous boulders. It appears to have been excavated but no cist is visible.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

There are three, turf-covered cairns (A-C) the last, at NC 7781 1002, being the one some 40 yards from cairn 'A'; they occupy individual knolls in an early/modern field and are generally as described. The cavity of the cist in cairn 'A' is barely visible, being concealed by the cover-stone; the cairn is known locally as St Sciber's Grave. Where the centre of caian 'B' has been excavated only rubble core is to be seen. Cairn 'C' has been badly robbed and only in the E quadrant, where it stands to about 1.0m maximum, is there much of the infill remaining; odd stones show in the periphery and one or two are undoubtedly of a bounding kerb; there are no traces of a cist.

The supposed cairn 20ft N of cairn 'A' is merely a natural hump with some fortuitously placed stones and boulders; two of the boulders are disproportionately large for a cairn. A bronze diamond-shaped brooch from Sciberscross is in the Dunrobin Museum. Case No 540, No. 9.

Cairn 'C' surveyed at 1:10,560.

Visited by OS (J M) 25 May 1976.

This bronze brooch is in Dunrobin Museum. Acc No x 107

Information from Ms Catalogue of Dunrobin Museum by A S Henshall.


Field Visit (19 August 1909)

41. Cairns, Sciberscross. Some 350 yards ESE. of the farmhouse, on a slight eminence in the middle of a meadow, are the remains of a cairn. The upper part, of it has been removed, and a cist exposed, of which the covering slab, ends, and one side remain. It lies WSW. and ENE. The covering slab measures 4' 4" X 2' 9", and the length of the interior is 3' 7". The diameter of the cairn is about 33', and its present height about 4'. The outline of the cairn has been marked with large contiguous boulders of from 1 ½ to 2' in length.

Some 30' E. is another cairn which has been excavated and the cist displaced. It is 30' 9" in diameter and is about 4’ high. Around the base is a setting of large, but not contiguous, boulders.

Some 20' N. of the first cairn is a mound about 5’ high and 19' in diameter, from the slope of which some large stones protrude. It is probably another cairn.

Some 40 yards W. of the same cairn is a natural mound, with a cairn on the top of it, measuring 27' in diameter, and having an · outline of contiguous boulders. It appears to have been excavated, but no cist is visible. It is overgrown with grass.

OS 6-inch map, Sutherland, xcvii. (unnoted).

RCAHMS 1911, visited (AOC) 19th August 1909.


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