Scheduled Monument

Druid Temple Farm, chambered cairn and stone circle 230m WSW ofSM2417

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
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn; stone circle or ring
Local Authority
Inverness And Bona
NH 68515 42015
268515, 842015


The monument comprises a Clava-type passage grave of prehistoric date, visible as a denuded cairn and stone circle. It lies within a small level area in a patch of woodland, at around 130 m above sea level, on the SE side of the River Ness. The monument was first scheduled in 1964 but an inadequate area was included to protect all archaeological remains; the present scheduling rectifies this.

The kerb of the cairn is almost complete and virtually fully exposed, enclosing a roughly circular area around 13-14 m in diameter. The entrance to the passage is located on the S side. A circle of 10 stones, five of which remain upright, surrounds the cairn, between 3.5-5.3 m from the kerb.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the centre of the cairn, to include the remains described and an area around in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: From the excavation of related monuments we now understand that the remains associated with such cairns can include stone platforms enclosed by a circle or 'kerb' of stones, larger surrounding stone circles and rubble banks or 'rays' joining them as well as other features, and that they have a complex history of development. Despite the erosion or robbing out that may have reduced much of the body of the monument, the characteristic structural features that define this class of monument, remain well preserved. It is also likely to seal information about the prehistoric environment that existed at the time of its construction and use. The monument therefore has a good potential to contribute to future understanding of Early Bronze-Age funerary and ritual practices.

Contextual characteristics: The monument is a good example of a Clava passage grave, a distinctive and rare type of cairn found mainly to the S and E of Inverness along the Nairn and Spey valleys, and along the shore of the Moray Firth. Examples generally include components of stone circles, ring cairns and passage graves.

Associative characteristics: It is the view of most prehistorians that there was an intimate relationship between the religious beliefs expressed by monuments such as this, the surrounding landscape and the movements of the main astronomical bodies. This astronomical link continues to generate considerable interest today.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it represents a rare and regionally distinctive class of Early Bronze-Age monument that can help us to understand burial and ritual practices in NE Scotland and their relationship to what is happening elsewhere in the British Isles. It retains the field characteristics of its kind to a marked degree. The loss of, or damage to, the monument would seriously diminish the capacity of the class to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric Scotland, as well as the landscape it sits in.



RCAHMS record the monument as NH64SE 23.


Bradley R 2000, THE GOOD STONES: A NEW INVESTIGATION OF THE CLAVA CAIRNS, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland monograph series No. 17, Edinburgh, 145, 146, 186.

Burl H A W 1976, THE STONE CIRCLES OF THE BRITISH ISLES, London and New Haven, 164, 359.

Cameron D 1882, 'Notice of the Ancient circular dwellings, hill forts, and burial cairns of Strathnairn', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 16, 293.

Fraser J 1884, 'Descriptive notes on the stone circles of Strathnairn and neighbourhood of Inverness', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 18, 329, 354-6.

Henshall A S 1963, THE CHAMBERED TOMBS OF SCOTLAND, Edinburgh, Vol. 1, 375-6, INV 30.

Lisowski F P 1958, 'Cremations from the Culdoich, Leys and Kinchyle sites', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 89, 83-4, 88-90.

Piggott S 1956, 'Excavations in passage-graves and ring-cairns of the Clava group, 1952-3', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 88, 184-6.

RCAHMS 1979, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF NORTH-EAST INVERNESS, INVERNESS DISTRICT, HIGHLAND REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland series No. 8, 9, No. 20, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Thom A 1967a, MEGALITHIC SITES IN BRITAIN, Oxford, 68-9, 137, 143 B7/18.

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.

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