Scheduled Monument

Skail, chambered cairn 90m N ofSM1776

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn
Local Authority
NC 71296 46899
271296, 946899


The monument comprises a prehistoric chambered burial cairn, known locally as 'the Temple'. The cairn was originally scheduled in 1961, but an inadequate area was included fully to protect the archaeological remains. This scheduling extension rectifies the situation.

The chambered cairn is situated some 90m N of Skail, on the alluvial plain W of the River Naver at a height of about 125m OD. The cairn has been disturbed in antiquity, but was originally a round cairn about 18m in diameter, of Orkney-Cromarty type. Most of the smaller stones making up the body of the cairn have been removed, revealing a chamber of polygonal form with a transverse subdivision. The entrance to the chamber has probably been from the NE. Low turf-covered banks mark the perimeter of the mound which once covered the cairn, and a few larger stones hint at an external kerb. Although disturbed, the site retains the potential for important archaeological material to survive beneath the chamber and under the remains of the body of the cairn.

The area now to be scheduled is circular, 40m in diameter, to include the remains described and an area around them in which related archaeological evidence is likely to survive. The scheduled area is indicated in red on the accompanying map. The above-ground portions of the modern walkway and information panel are excluded from scheduling, to facilitate maintenance.



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About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. 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: 20/04/2019 07:18