Scheduled Monument

Easter Clune, ring cairn 285m WNW ofSM3134

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: ring cairn
Local Authority
NH 95246 51618
295246, 851618


The monument is a Clava-type ring cairn, surviving as a ring of stones at the N edge of a gently sloping arable or grazing field on NW-facing ground, overlooking Muckle Burn. It lies at about 160 m above sea level . Archaeologists date this type of burial monument to the Early Bronze Age and it is part of small group of distinctive burial monuments given their name by a cemetery comprising several examples at nearby Clava. The monument was first scheduled in 1971, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains. The present rescheduling rectifies this.

The cairn is approximately 22 m in diameter and is defined by its kerb most distinctly in the SE, as almost contiguous, partly turfed stones standing to 0.8 m high. Elsewhere the kerb is turfed. There is the suggestion of an amorphous bank approximately 2 m across in the W. It is difficult to distinguish any other surviving features of the cairn in the interior, with old field stones and possible cairn material being virtually indistinguishable.

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

Statement of National Importance

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic: The monument is a relatively well-preserved example of a Clava-type ring cairn. From the excavation of related monuments we now understand that the remains associated with ring 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 robbing of stone that has reduced much of the body of the cairn, some of the characteristic structural features that define this class of monument appear well preserved. The cairn is also likely to preserve beneath it a buried prehistoric land surface.

Contextual: This monument is an example of a small, regionally defined group of 50 or so prehistoric monuments, known as Clava cairns, which are only found in the Inverness and Moray Firth area, particularly along river valleys and low ground south of the Firth. Examples generally include components of stone circles, ring cairns and passage graves. We can therefore compare and contrast the cairn to nearby prehistoric funerary monuments and others outside the region to create an understanding of regional identity and society. The monument occupies an inconspicuous location, set within a natural hollow overlooked by high ground. Its siting is characteristic of other nearby ring cairns, suggesting their significance did not extend beyond the immediate locality.

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 is an upstanding Bronze-Age, Clava-type ring cairn with the potential to reveal much about funerary practice in the prehistoric communities of NE Scotland. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to our knowledge of prehistoric society in this locality and, by association, the rest of Scotland. The loss of the monument would affect our future ability to appreciate and understand the prehistoric landscape and its inhabitants.



RCAHMS record the monument as NH95SE4; Highland Council SMR as NH95SE0002.


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

Henshall A S 1963, THE CHAMBERED TOMBS OF SCOTLAND, Vol. 1, Edinburgh, 387.

ORDNANCE SURVEY (NAME BOOK), INVERNESS, 1874, Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey Book No. 3, 62.

RCAHMS 1978, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF NAIRN DISTRICT, HIGHLAND REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series No. 5, 7, No. 3, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

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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Printed: 24/06/2024 00:14