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Mill Of Watten

Cist(S) (Period Unassigned), Spearhead (Iron)

Site Name Mill Of Watten

Classification Cist(S) (Period Unassigned), Spearhead (Iron)

Canmore ID 8772

Site Number ND25SE 4

NGR ND 2511 5496

NGR Description ND 2511 5496 and ND 2513 5496

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND25SE 4 2511 5496 and 2513 5496

(ND 2511 5496 & ND 2513 5496) Three Stone Cists containing Human Remains and Iron Spearhead, found here AD. 1867 (NAT)

OS 25" map, Caithness, (1872)

Short Cists found 1867 and 1869 (NAT)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

'While removing some earth in the spring of 1867 three stone cists were discovered - two were lying parallel to each other about 6ft apart, the other was about 60ft W. In one of the two which were close to each other a complete human skeleton was found in tolerable preservation. And an iron spearhead near it (sic) - the others were full of decayed human bones and black earth. The cists were lying due E and W.'

Name Book 1871.

Information from Mr MacAdam, Watten Mill, Mr A Sutherland, Borgie and Mr W Flett, Strath of Watten to OS, c. 1871

Changes to the OS 1:10,000 map arose because of minor differences between Mr MacAdam's account of the find in the ONB (1871), and his published description (PSAS 1873). In the latter he states that only a single cist was found in 1867, and the other two cists, 6ft apart were found in 1869, 20 yds W of the find-spot of the single cist. (This reverses the positions of the cists as given in the Name Book.) All three cists are referred to as short cists in the published account, which also notes that the iron spearhead was found in one of the two cists which were close together. (The ONB account of this find is rather ambiguous, but the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) catalogue states that the spearhead, 10 ins long and broken at the point, donated by Mr MacAdam in 1871 - Accession no IL 210 - was found beside the cist.)

Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1873; NMAS 1892

No further information regarding these sites was obtained from enquiries at Mill of Watten. One find spot falls in a cottage garden while the other lies between the farm buildings.

Visited by OS (W D J) 24 April 1963.


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