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Stemster, Sinclair's Sithean

Cist (Period Unassigned), Long Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Stemster, Sinclair's Sithean

Classification Cist (Period Unassigned), Long Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Sinclair's Shean

Canmore ID 8526

Site Number ND16SE 5

NGR ND 1655 6245

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND16SE 5 1655 6245

(ND 1655 6245) Sinclair's Sithean (NR)

(Cairn) (NR)

(Human Remains found) (NAT)

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

This is a long cairn, turf-covered and partly overgrown with gorse. It has been considerably robbed in places, leaving the surface very uneven, but it still stands up to 7ft high at the SE end and about 3 1/2ft high at the NW end. The cairn is composed of irregular stones with a fair covering of earth. The presence of the large stones on the E corner of the cairn edge suggests that the cairn was never horned. Of the various large stones lying about the SE end, only one, 12ft from the end and almost on the centre line of the cairn, appears to be earthfast. Over the rest of the cairn, five stones protrude.

The Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB, 1872) states that the cairn was opened 'many years ago' when human remains were discovered.

The RCAHMS (1911), quoting the Ground Officer at Stemster, states that a short cist was found, just below the surface at the ESE end, about 1880. The cist contained an unburnt interment.

Name Book 1872; RCAHMS 1911; A S Henshall 1963, visited 1957.

Sinclair's Sithean: a long cairn, as described and planned by Henshall.

Revised at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R D), 10 November 1965.

(ND 1655 6245) Sinclair's Sithean (NAT)

Long Cairn (NR)

OS 6" map, (1970)

No change to the previous reports.

Visited by OS (J M), 28 October 1981.

Long cairn, 'Sinclair's Sithean'. Length: 52m. Long cairn situated on a natural ridge, containing a number of hollows. Orientation NNW-SSE.

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


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