Scheduled Monument

Haylie House, chambered cairnSM2482

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn
Local Authority
North Ayrshire
NS 20950 58594
220950, 658594


The monument comprises the remains of a chambered cairn, dating from the Neolithic period. The monument was originally scheduled in 1964, but the area covered by the designation did not relate accurately to the remains on the ground. The current rescheduling rectifies this.

The chambered cairn is situated on a shelf of the hillside at around 25m OD, about 400m inland, and has a wide view across the Firth of Clyde. It lies in unimproved pasture about 75m NNE of Haylie House.

The burial chamber, sometimes known as 'Haco's Tomb', was originally covered by a large cairn, 'Margaret's Law'. This was completely removed in 1772, reportedly producing '15,000 cartloads' of stones. The Clyde-type chamber is oriented ESE to WNW, with its entrance facing uphill to the E. It measures about 6.7m in length by between 0.9m and 1.2m transversely. Originally it probably had three compartments, but only the innermost one remains intact today, built of massive slabs of quartz conglomerate, including a massive capstone. The chambers were partly excavated in 1953 and finds included two human skulls and other bones, and a flint knife or scraper.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan and measures 25m maximum from E to W by 17m transversely, as shown in red on the attached map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of early prehistoric burial practices and funerary architecture.



RCAHMS record the site as NS25NW 1.


Aitken, W. G. and Marshall, D. (1958), 'Excavation of burial chamber at Haylie, Largs, Ayrshire in 1954', Ayrshire Archaeol Natur Hist Collect, 1955-57.

Henshall, A. (1972a), The Chambered Tombs of Scotland, Vol. 2, 396-7.

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: 21/04/2019 05:12