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West Yarrows

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name West Yarrows

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Brickigoe

Canmore ID 9033

Site Number ND34SW 29

NGR ND 30341 44060

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND34SW 29 30341 44060

(ND 3033 4406) Standing Stones (NR)

Pict's House (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 1st ed., (1871)

'Two stones about four feet in height situated at the farm steading of Yarrows', the remains of a Pict's House, the rest of which was used for building the present dwelling house and steading (ONB 1871).

These stones are amost certainly the remains of an Orkney-Cromarty type long cairn (Henshall 1963) of which the outline was still visible in 1854. There were several cists in it and in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) are a cast of a granite battle-axe (AH 109), a brown stone ball (not of the 'decorated type') (AS 37), and a decorated sandstone cup (AQ 25) from unknown parts of the cairn. Rhind (1854) visited the site and his description agrees with the Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB), without naming the steading.

Name Book 1871; A S Henshall 1963; A H Rhind 1854; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1894.

The battle-axe is of type 'Roe - Stage III - Bronze Age'.

F E S Roe 1966.

This long cairn almost certainly stood in the farmyard of West Yarrows, where stood the remains of the 'Pict's House' (OS 6" map, Caithness, 1st ed., 1871).

The site is a low but prominent knoll, a typical cairn position and the most suitable in the area. There are no traces of the cairn to be seen, although a large displaced stone, 3.0m long, in the farmyard, could well have been a capstone of a chamber.

Visited by OS (N K B) 11 May 1967.

With the exception of one large stone, there is now little to indicate the presence of a chambered cairn at this location. The stone now lies prone within the entrance to the steading and measures 3.1m by 1.35m and 0.45m in thickness. On its upper face, there is one small circular hollow, possibly a drill-hole, and on its side, a shallow rectangular depression may have been caused by a wedge to split the stone. The ground-surface of the courtyard is strewn with rubble and the much of the steading is now roofless.

(YARROWS04 407)

Visited by RCAHMS (ARG) 29 June 2004


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