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Gallow Hill

Long Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Gallow Hill

Classification Long Cairn (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 8514

Site Number ND16SE 18

NGR ND 1531 6157

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND16SE 18 1531 6157.

(ND 1531 6157) Gallow Hill (NAT) Long Cairn (NR)

OS 6" map, (1970)

A very large and relatively undisturbed long cairn measuring about 223ft long excluding the short, stubby horns which protrude from the SSE. In profile the monument is divided into three segments by transverse hollows indicating a multi-period construction. At the SSE end there is a steep-sided circular mound measuring about 90ft in diameter. It stands about 10ft high with a flat top about 45ft in diameter. The horns are low and are visible only as a slight rise in the surface of the field. This could be interpreted as a heel-shaped cairn.

The centre mound appears to have slightly concave sides and is square rather than round. It is 4-5ft high linked to the other mounds by cairn material about 2ft deep.

The NW cairn, about 4ft high, appears to be circular. The edges of the monument are fairly clear. On the W side the edge forms a fairly regular curve, but on the E side it is less regular and in particular there appears to be a bulge at the SE corner of the centre cairn.

The three elements are intact so there is no indication of the nature of the interior structures; but there is some evidence from outside Scotland that small detatched chambers might be built in a row; and on an extension of the axis of this cairn, and only 75ft away, there is a small cairn (ND16SE 19) with the chamber aligned at right angles to the main axis.

A S Henshall 1963; 1972.

A horned long cairn as described.

Re-surveyed at 1:2500

Visited by OS (R D) 10 November 1965.

No change to the preceeding reports.

Visited by OS (J M) 29 October 1981

Horned long cairn. Length: 82m. Trapezoidal long cairn formed by the conjunction of two round cairns. The main round cairn originally measured 30 x 28m, the tail cairn 15 x 12m joined by a long cairn measuring 14 x 12m. The NE horn is 6m long, the NW horn 3.5m long, 17m apart.

R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995.


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