Scheduled Monument

Sornach Coir'Fhinn,stone circle 350m S of Ben LangassSM5125

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
21/10/1991
Type
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: stone circle or ring
Local Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
Parish
North Uist
NGR
NF 84295 64979
Coordinates
84295, 864979

Description

The monument consists of a stone circle set upon a partly artificial platform on the S slopes of Ben Langass. The "circle" is, in fact, oval in plan, 37m E-W by 30m N-S. It consists of 24 upright stone slabs and boulders, together with a similar number of recumbent stones. On the SE side, two stones are set quite clearly out of alignment with the rest of the ring, but very close to its projected course. The platform on which the circle stands is formed of a scoop into the slope, with a back-scarp 1.5m high at maximum on the N and a dumped platform up to 2m high on the S.

The platform is only just large enough for the stone circle, and the upright stones of the S part of the circle stand on the edge of the platform. A rubble wall has been built between the uprights on the N side, but this appears later than the circle, whereas the platform very clearly antedates the erection of the stones. The monument commands a wide open prospect from SE through S and W to NW. The area to be scheduled is a quadrilateral of about 3 hectares, bounded on the S by the shore of Loch Langass.

The W, N and E sides are 150m, 150m and 220m long, while the S, shore, side is approximately 250m long, as shown in red on the accompanying map. This area is drawn wide to ensure that the open aspect of the monument, which would have been essential to its purpose, is safeguarded.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance as a very fine field monument in its own right. The existence of a carefully prepared site and the extensive peat cover of surrounding slopes support the assumption that excavation could yield much valuable information regarding land-use and economy before, during and after the date of construction, while the existence on the other side of the same hill of the best-preserved chambered cairn in the Western Isles suggests that this area may have been an important focus of Neolithic ritual activity. The monument is thus of national importance in its own right and as part of a concentration of major ritual monuments.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NF 86 NW 7.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. 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. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 17/11/2018 13:01