Scheduled Monument

Bilbster, chambered cairn 1040m NNE of Bylbster BridgeSM431

Status: Designated

Documents

Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (https://portal.historicenvironment.scot/termsandconditions).

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.

Summary

Date Added
24/07/1934
Last Date Amended
11/03/2002
Supplementary Information Updated
09/11/2018
Type
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn
Local Authority
Highland
Planning Authority
Highland
Parish
Wick
NGR
ND 26959 54728
Coordinates
326959, 954728

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a chambered cairn; a prehistoric funerary and ritual monument dating from the Neolithic period (c. 4000-2000BC). The cairn is already scheduled, but this re-scheduling extends the protected area to include the whole of the cairn and a small area around it in which evidence relating to its construction and use may be expected to survive.

The cairn stands on a natural ridge overlooking the Wick River to the north. It is oval, measuring approximately 25m N-S by 20m E-W, and standing up to 1.6m high. The body of the cairn has been disturbed, revealing the presence of two separate internal chambers, one to the N and one to the S, which lie approximately 5m apart. The N chamber is defined by 4 large, upright, stone "orthostats" plus one further stone, which has fallen from position. The S chamber can also be identified by the presence of 4 visible orthostats, although further structural elements of this chamber may lie buried within the body of the cairn.

The area now to be scheduled is a circle, 45m in diameter, centred on the cairn, to include the remains described above, plus an area around where remains relating to the construction and use of the cairn may be expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved example of a chambered cairn. It has the potential, through excavation and analysis, to provide information on Neolithic ritual and funerary practices, and contemporary material culture and agricultural economy.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS - ND25SE 10

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 www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

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Printed: 24/10/2021 13:23