Scheduled Monument

Kinbrace Farm, three chambered cairns NW of, Achentoul ForestSM1797

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn
Local Authority
NC 87170 29154
287170, 929154


The monument comprises the remains of three prehistoric chambered burial cairns, located in forest clearings. All three have been scheduled since 1934, but with protected areas that are grossly inadequate to cover the visible archaeological remains, ignoring any surrounding area of significance. This extension rectifies this situation.

The three cairns lie on gently sloping ground to the E of the Helmsdale to Kinbrace public road. The most northerly cairn is close to the road. It consists of a mass of moss-covered stone some 17m across and about 3.2m tall. In the body of the cairn, near the ESE edge, two large upright stones may mark the portals to the entrance passage. To the SE of this cairn, and further within the forest, are a pair of cairns set very close together in a single clearing. The NE of the pair is a large round cairn some 28m by 23m and up to 3.2m high. At the N corner is a short protrusion, or 'horn'. The SW cairn is less substantial, but still 31m long by from 17m to 9m broad and up to 3m tall. No trace of a chamber is visible in either cairn, but their sizes suggest that the NE cairn was chambered, and probably the SW cairn is as well. Although no visible trace survives, earlier reports suggested a low bank linking the two cairns. It is entirely possible that the pair form an embryonic long cairn that was not taken to completion.

The area now to be scheduled is in two parts. A circle 35m in diameter around the northerly cairn and an elongated area around the close pair of cairns, this area defined by two semi-circles of diameter 50m joined by parallel straight sides running NE-SW, to give an overall length of 85m. These areas include the cairns and an area around each in which evidence relating to their construction and use is likely to survive and are shown in red on the accompanying map extract

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a group of large prehistoric burial cairns that may not have been seriously disturbed since their period of construction and use. The group offers an opportunity to examine the temporal and functional inter-relationships of cairns of varied appearance. Individually and as a group the cairns which form this monument have a particularly high potential to provide important information about prehistoric ritual and funerary practices and also about contemporary land-use and environmental conditions.



The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NC 82 NE 2 and NC 82 NE 3.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to Kinbrace Farm, three chambered cairns NW of, Achentoul Forest

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 29/05/2020 02:08