Scheduled Monument

Stemster, long cairn 790m NNW of RoadsideSM11239

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
12/08/2005
Type
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: enclosed cremation cemetery
Local Authority
Highland
Parish
Bower
NGR
ND 17420 62603
Coordinates
317420, 962603

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a long cairn, visible as a turf covered mound, situated immediately to the NNW of a small reservoir, at the edge of a farm track.

The main axis of the cairn, c. 45m in length, runs SSE-NNW, rising from 0.3 m in the NNW into a circular mound with a height of c.2.5m in the SSE. It has a maximum width of c. 22m at the SSE end, which has been truncated by the building of the reservoir.

RCAHMS indentified this site with that excavated by Tress Barry in 1904, although this is not certain. In the RCAHMS report of the excavation, mention is made of an inhumation in the chamber and another apparently secondary unburnt intermnment in the debris near the top of the cairn which was accompanied by pieces of an urn. No trace of any chamber can now be seen.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape, with maximum dimensions 49m NNW-SSE by 37m transversely, to include the long cairn and an area around in which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive. The area is bounded by a farm track to the N and E, and by the boundary of the reservoir to the S, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric ritual and funerary practices. Despite truncation by the reservoir it remains an impressive monument related to other monuemnts in the vicinity.

References

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as ND16SE 1.

References:

Davidson J L and Henshall A S 1991, THE CHAMBERED CAIRNS OF CAITHNESS: AN INVENTORY OF THE STRUCTURES AND THEIR CONTENTS, Edinburgh, 132-4, No. 46.

Henshall A S 1963, THE CHAMBERED TOMBS OF SCOTLAND, Vol. 1, Edinburgh, 286, CAT 46.

RCAHMS 1911, THIRD REPORT AND INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTY OF CAITHNESS, LONDON, Edinburgh: HMSO, 4, No. 9.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 24/06/2019 13:05