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Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Achkinloch

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 8269

Site Number ND14SE 1

NGR ND 18862 41713

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

ND14SE 1 1887 4172

(ND 1887 4172) Chambered Cairn (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

An Orkney-Cromarty type, round cairn with a Camster-type chamber. It stands on a small knoll and has been considerably robbed and is now heather covered. The edges are difficult to trace but the diameter appears to have been about 60ft. Only three slabs of the chamber are visible, projecting through the debris near the centre; the tallest, over 3ft high, represents the back of the chamber, which was entered from the E.

RCAHMS 1911; A S Henshall 1963, visited 1955.

A chambered cairn, generally as described by A S Henshall. It is now spread to 24.0m. Henshall's plan of the chamber is correct, but its position within the cairn is wrong, the back slab being almost central to the present spread of debris.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (I S S), 20 April 1972.

No change to the previous field report.

Visited by OS (N K B), 6 December 1982.

This chambered cairn is within the formerly enclosed pasture around the old croft of Achkinloch, at 158m OD, in an extensive area of heather moorland. The actual site is a minor ridge sloping gently down from the S towards the shore of the loch. Thus the ground drops away from the cairn on all sides except the S. The cairn has been greatly reduced and left in untidy heaps and hollows. It is mainly turf-covered but was until recently overgrown with heather. Disturbance on the W side has exposed the cairn material composed of irregularly-shaped blocks of stone. Except on the NW quadrant the cairn edge is now clear and the diameter can be seen to have been greater than previously recorded, about 24 to 25m. The height is 1.7m measured from the N and 0.6m measured from the S, but there has been deeper robbing around the chamber. Three slabs project in the centre of the cairn set transversely to the E-W axis. The E slab, on the S side of the axis, is 0.9m long and 0.55m high above the debris. The second slab is about 1.6m to the W on the N side of the axis; it is 0.45m long and just projects. The third slab, set across the axis 2.3m W of the first slab, is 1.15m long and projects 1.2m. All three slabs are 0.1m thick. The disposition of the slabs suggests they are an inner portal stone, divisional stone and back-slab of a chamber entered from the E, the inner compartment measuring only 0.4m from front to back.

J L Davidson and A S Henshall 1991, visited 4 September 1986.


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