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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


'The Judge's Cairn'

Cairn (Bronze Age)

Site Name 'The Judge's Cairn'

Classification Cairn (Bronze Age)

Alternative Name(s) Dalbrack, The Big Cairn

Canmore ID 24661

Site Number NN70NW 1

NGR NN 73943 05616

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Dunblane And Lecropt
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes ( - 1968)

NN70NW 1 7394 0561.

(NN 7394 0561) The Judge's Cairn (NR).

OS 6" map (1958).

"The Judge's" or "The Big Cairn". A heap of stones now grass-covered. It is said that the Sheriff used to hold his court here.

(Name Book 1863).

May be a chambered cairn.

(J E Shearer 1907).

A turf-covered, cairn, 20.0m in diameter with a maximum height of 1.7m, which has been dug into on its south side. There is no evidence to suggest that it was chambered. Known locally as "The Judge's Cairn". Visited by OS (WDJ) 5 November 1968.


Field Visit (September 1978)

NN 739 056 This cairn measures 20m in diameter and 1.7m high.

RCAHMS 1979, visited September 1978

Field Visit (20 May 1992)

The remains of this oval cairn are situated on the crest of a ridge overlooking the valley of the Ardoch Burn from which it appears as a prominent landscape feature but is not readily seen from elsewhere. It measures 20m from N to S by 17.5m transversely and rises to a height of 1.8m. Robbing has removed much of the stone on the S and may account for its oval shape. The surrounding ground has been rigged and a field-bank springs from the N side of the cairn.

Visited by RCAHMS (JBS) 20 May 1992.

Publication Account (1994)

Thirteen round cairns were recorded during the survey, all probably of Bronze Age date. These are all situated towards the western part of the survey area, most of them sited at between 190m and 300m OD and showing a similar distribution to that of the neolithic tombs, with a concentration of five monuments at Black Park on lower ground, between 150m and 165m OD. All but one of the cairns are located either on prominent knolls or ridges or in situations offering an extensive outlook (although afforestation now makes this difficult to appreciate at Black Park), the exception being Annet Burn (NN60 NE 33), which sits on a level terrace beside the burn.

The cairns all appear as grass- or heather-covered mounds, most of them disturbed or robbed to some extent. In no case can an enclosing kerb be identified with certainty, although a robber-trench around the S and SW arcs of one of the Black Park cairns (NN 60 NE 15) may indicate the course of such a feature. On the basis of their size, two groups can be identified. Eight cairns measure between 4.5m and 8.5m in diameter and between 0.45m and 0.9m in height; the others range from 12.5m in diameter and 0.4m in height (Ballachraggan) to 21 m in diameter and 1.5m in height (Black Park, NN 60 NE 15). All but one are circular, the single exception being The Judge's Cairn, an oval mound measuring 20m in length by 17.5m in breadth and 1.8m in height, although here the shape may be the result of stone-robbing, The two groups show different patterns of distribution. With one exception, the smaller cairns are all to be found in areas of heather covered, often boggy, moorland; the example at Waterside, however, the smallest of all, sits on a prominent knoll which may belong to the Bronze Age. At Cromlix House in 1902 a damaged short cist was found during drainage operations, while the Statistical Account records that in c. 1783 'several cists' were found in a mound at Rosehall (Stat. Acct.; XX, 90), and stones 6ft (1.8m) long by 3ft (0.9m) wide were also discovered there around 1859 (Name Book 1863, No. 21, p.22).



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