Scheduled Monument

Higher Hillhead, cairn 715m NNE ofSM3606

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: cairn (type uncertain)
Local Authority
NH 91624 51672
291624, 851672


The monument is a burial cairn of prehistoric (probable Bronze-Age) date, visible as a circular, whin covered mound and lying within Arr Wood conifer plantation. The monument was first scheduled in 1975, but an inadequate area was included to protect all archaeological remains; the present scheduling rectifies this.

The cairn measures approximately 17.5 m in diameter and stands to a height of about 1.5 m. Many of the kerbstones round the perimeter of the cairn are visible. There is a slight hollow in the centre of the cairn. To the E of the cairn, are the remains of a number of possible field clearance cairns.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on 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 characteristics: The characteristic structural features that define this class of monument are well preserved and it is likely that the associated archaeological deposits are also in a good state of preservation, including evidence for the environment before people built the cairn. The survival of a boulder kerb has the potential to significantly enhance understanding of the monument.

Contextual characteristics: Although much of the landscape setting of the monument is currently obscured under dense plantation, the presence of clearance cairns in the vicinity of the cairn suggests that it has occupied a significant place within the prehistoric landscape of the area, both during and after use.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because there is good potential for the survival of archaeological evidence relating to its construction and use. It retains important field characteristics, such as the boulder kerb. The presence of possible field clearance cairns in the near vicinity of the cairn suggests it may have formed part of a diverse prehistoric landscape, which has been utilised both for funerary and agricultural uses. Its loss would affect our ability to understand this landscape.



RCAHMS record this monument as NH95SW 4.


RCAHMS 1978, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF NAIRN DISTRICT, HIGHLAND REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series, 5, 7, No. 9, 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.

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


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Printed: 20/04/2024 04:17