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Battle Moss

Cairn (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Battle Moss

Classification Cairn (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Loch Of Yarrows

Canmore ID 9053

Site Number ND34SW 46

NGR ND 31401 43329

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 46 31401 43329

See also ND34SW 47 & 231.

(ND 3139 4332) The remains of a long-destroyed cairn, 27ft in diameter, which contained a central cist, lie about 300 yds W of ND34SW 40 (McCole's Castle: chambered cairn).

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

A heather-covered cairn about 9.0m in diameter and 1.0m high, dug into in the centre. There is no trace of the cist, but several displaced slabs, probably part of it, lie on the surface of the cairn.

Midway between this cairn and the other cairn close by (ND34SW 47) is a slight, heather-covered mound about 5.5m in diameter and 0.3m high with its centre hollowed, exposing some stones. This is possibly the remains of a cairn, but it is too denuded to be certain.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

(A: ND 3139 4332; B: ND 3136 4332) Cairns (NR)

(For 'B', see ND34SW 47)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

These are probably two of the 'three small cairns, with central cists, arranged in a line at a short distance from each other (see also ND34SW 47). These were all opened long ago by idlers out of mere curiosity, and all contained skeletons'.

J Anderson 1870.

The site is in heather moorland at about 120m OD, on a gentle slope which at the W end drops quite steeply to the loch. In 1851 Rhind listed the remains as 'an oblong cairn about 110 feet (35.5m) in length' (Stuart), but Anderson recorded them as 'three small cairns, with central cists, arranged in a line at a short distance from each other'; and RCAHMS recorded them as two cairns some 23m apart, each with a central cist, the overall length being about 41.5m. Mercer has suggested recently that a greatly ruined long cairn underlies the two round cairns.

Until the deep heather which surrounds and encroaches on the monument is removed it is not possible to classify it with confidence. The two round cairns are fairly obvious features, set about 20m apart. The W cairn appears to have a diameter of about 8.5m and 1.5m high measured from the lower ground on the N side. Within the cairn a thin slab set on edge is 1.4m long and exposed to a height of 0.4m, and is preseumably the E side of a central cist. The E cairn is relatively well defined on the W side, but elsewhere is distorted by howking and dumping; it is about 10m in diameter and is only about 1m high. Spreading beyond the limits of the W cairn, and, after a gap about 1.5m wide, extending to the E cairn, is a low heather-covered mound. Along the lower N side its edge is fairly clear but may be deceptive and partly due to the limit of old peatcutting. The S side is difficult to define, merging into the moor. The total length of the monument is about 39m, with the axis lying E to W (see also ND34SW 47).

Visited by J L Davidson and A S Henshall 20 September 1985.

J Stuart 1870; J Anderson 1870; RCAHMS 1911; R J Mercer 1985.

Loch of Yarrows, Cairns. Scheduled with ND34SW 47.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 29 October 1999.

This heather-grown cairn is the easternmost of a row of three (see also ND34SW 47 & 231) situated on the leading edge of a N-facing terrace in heather moorland immediately E of the S end of Loch of Yarrows. It measures about 9m in diameter by 1m in height, but the centre has been robbed to create a roughly oval hollow some 0.4m in depth.

(YARROWS04 045)

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 15 June 2004


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