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Footprint (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Port-an-eilein

Classification Footprint (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Lorg An Fhamhair; Shurrery; Clach-na-liurg

Canmore ID 7625

Site Number ND05NE 11

NGR ND 0582 5930

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Reay
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND05NE 11 0582 5930.

(Name: ND 0585 5927) Lorg an Fhamhair (NAT)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

On the W end of the summit of the hill of Port-an-Eilein, about 1/2 to 3/4 mile NE of Shurrery church, is a flat, exposed rock-surface measuring 10ft square. Towards the N end, near the medial line, there has been hollowed out the impression of a human left foot. It is exactly 12ins in length, 6ins in breadth across the sole and 4 1/2ins across the heel, while the depth of the impression is about 1 1/4ins. The artificial character of the mark is quite obvious. The rock on which it is carved is said to have been called 'Clach na Luirg'.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

Incised human feet on rocks are ancient, well-authenticated and widespread; examples are recorded in Ireland and the Western Isles down to the 16th century. Kings are said to have placed their feet in these impressions when being crowned or while holding court.

J R C Hamilton 1966.


Field Visit (12 April 1962)

ND 0582 5930. This feature, described above, would appear to be a natural cavity in the shape of a human foot.

Visited by OS (J L D) 12 April 1962.

Reference (1966)

J R C Hamilton 1966.

Field Visit (30 June 1981)

Lorg an Fhamhair applies to a section of shelving rock with the foot-shaped impression correctly described by the RCAHMS on the upper surface. This mark is well formed but may be the result of weathering though a study of other rocks in the vicinity does not show any weathering similarities.

Visited by OS (J M) 31 June 1981.


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