Scheduled Monument

Berriedale Water, cairn 250m NNW of MillerySM422

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: cairn (type uncertain)
Local Authority
Planning Authority
ND 10829 25611
310829, 925611


The monument is a burial cairn dating from the Late Neolithic to Bronze Age (the fourth and third millennia BC). The cairn is visible as a roughly circular mound of earth and stone standing up to 1.4m high The monument is situated in a prominent location on the west side of a valley above Berriedale Water, at around 115m above sea level.

The cairn is approximately 14m in diameter overall and there are two depressions on the southwest and east sides of the cairn which may indicate collapsed chambers within the cairn. Adjacent to the cairn, only a few metres to the northwest, lie the remains of a hut circle measuring 4m in diameter. The monument is located on moorland with open views, mainly across the Berriedale Water and is in close proximity to other prehistoric remains.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 34m in diameter, centred on the monument. The scheduling includes the remains described above including the hut circle 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 monument was first scheduled in 1939, but the documentation did not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to knowledge and understanding of the past, particularly the design and construction of burial monuments, and the nature of belief systems and burial practices during the Bronze Age in Caithness. The cairn has good field characteristics that show its form and its place in the landscape, and demonstrate the potential for the presence of buried archaeological remains, including burials, artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence. There are numerous other prehistoric remains in the vicinity of the cairn, which together contribute to our understanding of the form of the pre-historic landscape.  This is important for enhancing our understanding of Bronze Age society, its organisation, economy, religion and demography. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand funerary practice, death and burial in prehistoric times, and the placing of such monuments within the landscape.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 8061.

Highland Council HER Reference: MHG 1092.

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: 18/06/2024 09:25