Scheduled Monument

Balcharn, chambered cairn 120m W ofSM1768

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn
Local Authority
NC 59682 6510
259682, 906510


The monument comprises an Orkney-Cromarty-type round cairn with a polygonal chamber. The monument was first scheduled in 1939, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains and the area is not centred on the cairn: the present rescheduling rectifies these problems.

The cairn has been disturbed, leaving an irregular mound c.28m in diameter, rising to a height of 2.3m above the surrounding ground on the W side. In the centre of the mound a small mutilated portion of the cairn 1m high contains the remains of the chamber, outlined by four stones protruding from the turf.

The foundations of a farmstead, depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map can be seen on the S extremity of the cairn. To the SE the stone wall of a stock enclosure has bisected the edge of the cairn.

The area to be scheduled is a circle of diameter 45m, centred on the cairn, to include the cairn and an area around in which evidence relating to the construction and use of the cairn may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The above-ground portion of the stone wall of the stock enclosure is excluded from scheduling to allow for maintenance.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a chambered long cairn which has the potential to provide important information on the funerary and ritual architecture of the Neolithic period in Scotland.



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NC50NE36.00.


Henshall A S 1963, THE CHAMBERED TOMBS OF SCOTLAND, Vol. 1, Edinburgh, 310, SUT 11.

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

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Printed: 06/06/2020 09:13