Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset


Chambered Cairn (Neolithic), Machine Gun Post (20th Century)(Possible)

Site Name Ormiegill

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic), Machine Gun Post (20th Century)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Ormiegill North, Wic 197

Canmore ID 9018

Site Number ND34SW 2

NGR ND 33220 42941

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

ND34SW 2 33220 42941

(ND 3322 4294) Chambered Cairn (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

An Orkney-Cromarty short, horned cairn with a Camster-type chamber, excavated by J Anderson and R I Shearer in 1865. It is now greatly dilapidated and what remains of the interior structure is partly masked by modern building inside the chamber.

The finds, listed in detail by Miss Henshall, are either in the NMAS or lost, and include flint implements, a grey stone mace-head (EO 131) and pottery, classified by Feachem as Western Neolithic.

A S Henshall 1963; R W Feachem 1963.

As described by the previous authorities.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R L) 25 April 1967.

This short horned cairn seems to have originated as a round chambered cairn about 25ft in diameter.

A S Henshall 1972.

The remains of this chambered cairn are situated in heather moorland on the NE flank of the Hill of Ulbster, some 530m SE of the ruins of the farmsteading ND34SW 292. The cairn comprises a mound of stones and boulders measuring 15.2m from NE to SW by 11m transversely and 1.6m in height, but low 'horns' on the N, E, S and W respectively extend the overall dimensions of the monument. The remains of a burial-chamber are visible within the body of the mound, but they have been disturbed and obscured by the conversion of the chamber into what was possibly a machine-gun post. When this took place is not recorded, but the cairn overlooks a World War Two decoy airfield (ND34SW 311.00).

The entrance to the burial-chamber lies 3m from the present SE edge of the cairn and is marked by a pair of portal stones up to 1m in height and set 0.5m apart, which lead into an ante-chamber measuring about 3.9m from NE to SW by 1m transversely. On the NE and SW, the walls of this ante-chamber are built of dry-stone walling, but on the NW there are two large slabs up to 1.5m in height. A gap, 0.6m in width, between these stones originally led into the main burial chamber, but this gap has been blocked by a mass of modern dry-stonework that effectively fills most of the NE half of the main chamber. The main chamber measures about 3.1m from NE to SW by 2.8m transversely and it is subdivided 0.7m from its NW end by two slabs measuring up to 0.5m in height and set 0.6m apart. The NW end of the chamber is marked by a large upright slab.

The builders of the possible machine-gun post linked the NE corner of the burial-chamber with the N edge of the cairn by constructing a narrow passage, revetted on each side with dry-stone walling and roofed with slabs, close to its SE end.

(YARROWS04 500)

Visited by RCAHMS (ATW), 24 August 2004.


Project (1980 - 1982)


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions