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Langwell House

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Langwell House

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Langwell Water

Canmore ID 8070

Site Number ND12SW 12

NGR ND 1101 2244

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND12SW 12 1101 2244

Situated about 1/4 mile SW of Langwell House, in the wood and some 40 yds S of the avenue, is a large cairn. It measures some 60ft in diameter and 5ft in height. A number of small trees are growing over it, and there is no sign of its having been excavated.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

ND 1101 2244. A large cairn measuring 19.6m N-S by 14.5m transversely and 1.1m high. In the W segment is a large upright stone. No trace of a cist or chamber was noted. A few metres W of the cairn is a crescent-shaped scatter of stones which may have formed part of the cairn, but it has been so mutilated by forestry operations that its character is obscure. The area in which the cairn lies has now been cleared of trees.

Visited by OS (WDJ), 4 July 1960.

(ND 1101 2244) Cairn (NR)

OS 6" map, (1964)

The SW segment has been mutilated by a track, exposing in the centre the tops of two upright slabs, which could form part of a chamber.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (RL) 29 February 1968.

No change to the previous field reports, but uncertainly chambered.

Visited by OS (JM) 23 November 1982.

This chambered cairn is situated at 78m OD, near the edge of a terrace which along the Sw side drops precipitously to the Langwell Water. Trees have been replanted around the cairn and only the centre is now clear though covered with grass and heather. The edge can be traced on the E and SW sides indicating a cairn roughly 21m in diameter, but elsewhere the edge is obscured. The cairn ois mostly 1.5m high measured from the E. The ground drops on the S and W sides, and though severely robbed as far as the outside of the chamber on the SW, a steep rim of cairn material remains. A track runs close to the SW side of the cairn. The entrance has evidently been from the E. A flat slab, 1.4m long, 0.43m wide and 0.2m thick is probably a displaced passage lintel. The chamber is defined by a prominent back-slab and by five other orthostats which are just visible in the rubble. The portal stones are 0.7m apart. The N slab measures 0.32m long by 0.15m thick; the S slab measures 0.6m long by 0.25m thick, and a hollow in the cairn shows it to be over 0.4m high. An inner portal stone 0.5m long by 0.2m thick is set 0.9m W of the N portal stone, marking the entry between the ante-chamber and main chamber. The lattter is 3.1m long by 3.2m wide. On the N side is a slab 0.75m long by 0.25m thick, and from its E end walling runs eastwards for 1m. On the S side is a slab 0.5m long by 0.25m thick, exposed on its S side for a height of 0.5m. Only this slab and the back-slab have intact upper edges. The back-slab is 1.3m long by 0.45m thick, and on the W side it is exposed for a height of 0.75m.

J L Davidson and A S Henshall 1991, visited 2 September 1986.


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