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Lynegar House, Grey Cairn

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Lynegar House, Grey Cairn

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Lynegar; Loch Watten

Canmore ID 8751

Site Number ND25NW 3

NGR ND 2304 5662

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND25NW 3 2304 5662

(ND 2304 5662) Grey Cairn (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

This is a grassy mound about 79ft in diameter and 5ft high. The RCAHMS (1911) deduce from the character of the stones exposed that there is no doubt that this is a broch. However, the ONB (1871) reports that the 'cairn' was opened about 1850, and human remains found.

Name Book 1871; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910

Grey Cairn is now an oval mound measuring 30.0m N-S by 26.0m transversely by 1.7m high, with several large flat stones on and around it. It is impossible to say without excavation whether or not this is a broch or a cairn. While ploughing about 1935, James Barnetson of Georgemas, now deceased, discovered a 'tunnel' in the W of the mound and several animal bones.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R D) 27 October 1965

Grey Cairn, a turf-covered mound, measures 25.0m NNE-SSW by 30.0m transversely and 1.4m high; the E sector is practically reduced to

field level by ploughing. The mound has no surface indication to distinguish a cairn or a broch, but size and general lack of prominence suggest the latter classification.

Visited by OS (J M) 2 March 1982

'Broch', Grey cairn, Lynegar. Dimensions: 44 x 41m. Grass-covered subcircular mound with a platform 8m in diameter in the SW sector.

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

Scheduled as Grey Cairn, broch 475m SE of Lynegar.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 19 July 2005.


Publication Account (2007)

ND25 9 LYNEGAR ('Grey Cairn')

ND/2304 5662

Possible broch in Watten, Caithness, consisting of an oval grassy mound about 30m by 26m (79ft) in diameter and 1.7m (5.5ft) high. There are several large flat stones on and about it. A “tunnel” was found in it during ploughing in about 1935 [1]. The fairly confident diagnosis of the site as a broch in 1910 [2] may be less plausible in view of the discovery of human remains in it in about 1850 [1], though such discoveries in broch ruins are not uncommon.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 25 NW 3: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 131, no. 471.

E W MacKie 2007


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