Scheduled Monument

Kirkstones,settlement 1650m SSW of StroupsterSM4636

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Secular: settlement, including deserted and depopulated and townships
Local Authority
ND 32660 64746
332660, 964746


The monument appears as a mound measuring c.50m by 30m, in moorland. It was recorded and partly excavated in 866. The main components of the complex are a wall and ditch surrounding the mound enclosing an area 44m EW by 56m NS and, on the large mound, subsidiary mounds containing stone buildings. The largest subsidiary mound is 20m in diameter. Excavation in 1866 showed signs of habitation in the Medieval period or later. The structures are still visible.

The site is traditionally that of the pre-17th century Kirk of Strubster. The structures are dissimilar to those of known shielings. They are probably Medieval or early post-medieval, because of the discovery of wheel made glazed pottery in them.

Statement of National Importance

It is the only upland site in Caithness likely to predate clearance villages and yet to have visible buildings and it is of national importance as a field monument. Its archaeology is also of national importance to our future understanding of pre-clearance sites in the north of Scotland.



RCAHMS records the site as ND36SW 6.


Laing S 1866, Prehistoric Remains of Caithness, 36-7.

RCAHMS 191, Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, London, 189.

Nicolson J 196, 'The exploration of the site known as the Kirk Stones of Stroupster, in the parish of Wick, county of Caithness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 314-6.

Mercer R 1980, Archaeological Field Survey in North Scotland, 1976-80, 88.

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 showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. 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: 22/02/2020 20:25