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Seater, Cairn Of Heathercow

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Seater, Cairn Of Heathercow

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Cairn Of Heathercro

Canmore ID 8851

Site Number ND26SW 2

NGR ND 2431 6017

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

ND26SW 2 2431 6017.

(ND 2431 6017) Cairn of Heathercow (NAT) Chambered Cairn (NR)

OS 6" map, (1970)

The Cairn of Heathercro (Henshall 1963; RCAHMS 1911), Heathercow (ONB 1872), or Heather Cow (OSA 1793) is an Orkney-Cromarty type long cairn with a pentagonal chamber.

The prominent, nearly circular, turf-covered mound at the NE end appears to be well preserved and stands about 8ft high, but SW of it the cairn has been robbed to such an extend that the original NW edge is not traceable. In this robbed area three large upright slabs may have formed part of a second chamber, and various other stones are partly exposed. The RCAHMS, in 1911, say that the cairn was horned at the SW end, but Miss Henshall was not convinced of this, and in 1793 the cairn is said to have been 'surrounded by six or seven circles, described at different distances around the large stones set on edge'. These have now gone. When excavated by Sir Francis Tress Barry about 1904, the chamber contained fragments of an urn and horse's teeth. These were replaced in the cairns. Another partial excavation took place in 1871 when a cist, containing human remains and an urn, were found. The urn was removed to Aberdeen.

Statistical Account (OSA) 1793; Name Book 1872; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910; A S Henshall 1963, visited 1957.

The Cairn of Heathercow is as described and planned by Miss Henshall. No further information was obtained concerning the spelling of the name. Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (N K B) 29 November 1965.

This chambered cairn is as described and planned. It is 49.0m long by 18.0m across the NE end.

Visited by OS (J B) 6 May 1982

Long cairn (ND 2431 6017), 'Cairn of Heathercro'. Sub-rectangular mound badly robbed and mutilated along the SW edge. The excavated chamber is clearly defined as a small slot cut into the top of the mound. Orientation NE-SW.

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


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