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Inksrack, Earl's Cairn

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Inksrack, Earl's Cairn

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Hollandmaik; Hollandmake

Canmore ID 8808

Site Number ND26NE 2

NGR ND 2629 6973

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND26NE 2 2629 6973

(ND 2629 6973) Earl's Cairn (NAT)

Chambered Cairn (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

Earl's Cairn, an Orkney-Cromarty round cairn with Camster type chamber, is now grass-grown and extremely ruined though still 6ft high on the N side. It is about 40ft in diameter and the tripartite chamber is entered from the ESE. The cairn was more intact in 1911 and its description then is shown dotted on plan. All that remains now are the two peristalith stones, various boulders lying about and two transverse slabs on the NE side, presumably part of the outer compartment, with a stretch of dry wall between them. Finds, now lost, were two urns of blue clay, highly ornamented but in fragments, and burnt wood and ashes.

RCAHMS 1911; A S Henshall 1963.

Earl's Cairn has been greatly mutilated by robbing and ploughing. All that now remains of it is a turf-covered mound 10.0 to 14.0m in diameter by 1.6m high although the original cairn perimeter can still be traced as a slight stony shelf, 20.0m in diameter. Within the mound are three transverse slabs, part of the chamber, and six earthfast stones, obviously part of the chamber, but not in situ. No trace of the peristalith stones nor the dry-walling could be found.

Visited by OS (R D) 1 March 1965.

Earl's Cairn is prominently positioned in an arable field and is generally as described and illustrated by the previous authorities. Only two transverse stones in situ are evident with a slightly displaced stone between (see plan by A S Henshall). A few stones of the chamber also survive on the S side. Whether the two stones of the peristalith noted by Miss Henshall are such is uncertain due to the continuous cultivation around the cairn. Boulders have been dumped around the fringe of the cairn.

Visited by OS (J B) 5 May 1982.


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