Scheduled Monument

West Croachy House, cairns 1000m ESE ofSM11433

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: field clearance cairn, cairnfield, Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain); mound (ritual or funerary rather than defensive or domestic)
Local Authority
Daviot And Dunlichity
NH 65480 26796
265480, 826796


The monument comprises two burial cairns, and a sample of other cairns, some of which resemble sepulchral forms. The monument is part of a larger settlement complex composed of denuded hut circles, field lynchets and clearance and burial cairns between 4000 and 3500 years old. It is situated on heather moorland at 320 m OD on the upper reaches of a hillside, the high point of which is called Carn Mor.

The most conspicuous burial cairn is 8 m in diameter and 0.7 m high, with two stones of a kerb visible in the E arc and three others in SW. The top of this cairn has been disturbed and three slabs of a cist lie displaced on the top of a partly back-filled excavation. Another burial cairn lies 18 m to the SE of this. It is 6 m in diameter with four blocks, each about 2 m apart around the S arc. The remaining cairns are up to 5 m in diameter and 0.4 m in height; some of the more regularly circle-shaped examples exhibit ephemeral traces of kerbing and may be additional burial cairns.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the main burial cairn, to include the remains described and an area around in which evidence for the construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument consists of burial and clearance cairns directly associated with upland prehistoric settlement. There is likely to have been a direct association with the people who lived in the nearby settlement and the people whose bodies or ashes they interred in the burial cairns. This relationship is integral to understanding how later prehistoric societies interpreted the cultures and landscapes which they inhabited and interacted with. The close spatial correspondence between the burial and clearance cairns is likely to indicate that there was a close connection in how these monuments were created and perceived. This monument provides an opportunity for such relationships to be studied in the future, alongside an understanding of changes and developments in sepulchral architecture. Although the upper levels of the central cairn have been disturbed, the structure and lower deposits are likely to be well preserved, as are related archaeological deposits in the surrounding area.

Contextual characteristics: Few burial mounds have been identified in similar contexts, close by settlements, clearance cairns and agricultural activity in the Inverness region. This monument therefore provides a rare opportunity for the study of how the spheres of life, agriculture and death interacted among later prehistoric societies within this region. This will have ramifications for understanding patterns of regionality throughout Scotland in this period.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a good example of a later prehistoric cairnfield, incorporating burial and clearance cairns of similar date, in proximity to number of settlements and field systems. It has the potential to inform our understanding of the pattern and development of upland exploitation and occupation, and the perceived relationship between the spheres of sacred and profane existence within later prehistoric communities and societies. Its loss would significantly detract from our ability to understand later prehistoric burial and ritual practices in this region and would affect our ability to understand this landscape.



RCAHMS record the monument as NH62NE 6 and it is recorded in the Highland SMR as NH62NE0006.


RCAHMS 1994, UPPER STRATHNAIRN, INVERNESS: AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY: SUMMARY REPORT, Edinburgh, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

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 (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. 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

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Printed: 02/04/2023 06:23