Scheduled Monument

Whiteleys, chambered cairn 300m SW of Craig RuadhSM3846

Status: Designated


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

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
Local Authority
NH 53043 56511
253043, 856511


The monument is the remains of a Neolithic chambered cairn probably built between 3800 and 2500 BC. It is visible as a group of large stones, around seven of which define a polygonal chamber. The cairn lies 90m above sea level, near the top of an east facing slope that overlooks the head of the Cromarty Firth.

The monument is an Orkney-Cromarty type chambered cairn. Seven stones define a polygonal chamber but there are other large slabs in the vicinity. One of these recumbent stones, immediately to the northwest of the chamber, has possible cup marks. A low, grass-covered subcircular mound about 25m in diameter and 1m in height appears to represent the remains of the cairn surrounding the chamber.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above ground elements of post and wire fences and a gate. The monument was first scheduled in 1976, but the documentation does not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Statement of National Importance

The monument has potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past, in particular the design and construction of prehistoric burial monuments. It continues to be visible as an upstanding field monument, and unlike some other cairns in the area the mound around the chamber remains an upstanding feature. Chambered cairns are often our main source of evidence for the Neolithic in Scotland, and can enhance our understanding of Neolithic society and economy, and as well as the nature of burial practices and belief systems. This chambered cairn is one of an important group of well-preserved Neolithic burial monuments close to the coast between Beauly and Brora. They are important surviving components of what would have been a wider prehistoric landscape of settlement, agriculture and ritual. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the meaning and importance of death and burial in prehistoric times and the placing of cairns within the landscape.



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 12822 (accessed on 05/05/2016).

The Highland Council Historic Environment Record reference is MHG9029.

Davidson, J L and Henshall, A S 1989, The chambered cairns of Orkney: an inventory of the structures and their contents, Edinburgh.

HER/SMR Reference


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: 09/08/2022 08:41