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Stone Row (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Site Name Dirlot

Classification Stone Row (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Canmore ID 8265

Site Number ND14NW 6

NGR ND 1228 4856

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND14NW 6 1228 4856.

(ND 1228 4856) Stone Rows (NR)

OS 6" map, (1963)

Some 300 yds WSW of the graveyard at Dirlot, on a rounded, heather-clad knoll, is a setting of stone rows. The setting appears to have consisted of some thirteen or fourteen rows presenting the usual characteristics, the stones being set with their flat faces looking across the rows. Most of the stones merely protrude from 6 to 8ins and are about 1ft in breadth, except at the outer termination where they have been larger, the largest stone being 2ft high and 2ft 4ins broad. They are somewhat irregularly placed, some 3 to 5ft distant from each other in the rows, and the rows 6 to 7ft apart at the narrower end of the monument. On the crest of the hillock are two low mounds or cairns from which the rows appear to radiate. The most northerly of the cairns has a diameter of about 14ft and a slight elevation, while the other, situated near the centre of the base of the rows, measures about 19ft in diameter and 1ft 6ins in height. Some 20ft SE of this cairn, in the line of the rows, is another slight mound measuring some 5ft in diameter. The knoll has a height of about 12ft and the rows run from the crest to the base in a direction approximately ESE-WNW. At base the setting measures some 85ft across and at its outer termination, about 160ft. The length of the longest remaining row has been about 106ft. Several stones have been recently upturned, and the beds from which others have been removed are quite apparent.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

These stone rows radiate E- and SE-wards from a rounded heather-clad knoll. The RCAHMS description is generally correction, but the surrounding heather makes it difficult to locate all the stones. The two small mounds on the crest of the knoll would not appear to be cairns. Visited by OS (W D J) 12 April 1961.

Two small cairns, one measuring about 20ft and the other 15ft in diameter stand on the crest of a small knoll. From these, the fragmentary remains of possibly twenty rows of set stones radiate down the slope, each stone set with its major axis aligned with the row of which it forms a part. The more southerly group of rows is better preserved. It includes rows with as many as ten stones surviving out of a possible twenty over a distance of 100ft.

R W Feachem 1963.

The stone rows are generally as described by the previous authorities. The two very slight mounds would appear to be cairns associated with the rows in the manner of ND06NW 8. The heathery vegetation has masked many of the stones.

Visited by OS (J B) 3 March 1982.


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