Scheduled Monument

Cnoc na Croich, chambered cairnSM6550

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn
Local Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
NB 41719 32324
141719, 932324


The monument comprises the remains of a prehistoric chambered cairn, set on a hilltop overlooking Stornoway harbour.

The cairn is spread over an area 30m in diameter, largely covered by dense scrub. Three stones remain upright of a peristalith or kerb, indicating an original diameter of 24m. The tallest of these is 1.4m long. The chamber was within the SE quadrant of the cairn, and is aligned approximately NE-SW, being 5m by up to 1.25m across internally. The largest of the slabs forming the chamber walls is 2m long. No capstones survive, and the cairn is reduced so that it stands only 0.5m higher than the floor of the chamber. There is a hollow in the SW quadrant that may represent a second chamber, but this is uncertain. A mid-19th-century track clips the E edge of the cairn, and a modern cairn, built in 1902, is set on the E edge of the chambered cairn, and is formed of material robbed from the latter. This modern cairn, which originally supported a flagpole, is on the supposed location of the medieval gallows which gives the hill its name, Cnoc na Croich - Gallows Hill.

The area to be scheduled is circular, 45m in diameter, with the modern cairn lying just within the E side of the area to be scheduled, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as an example of a prehistoric burial place in a particularly prominent location. Although reduced in stature from its original height, it is likely to contain deposits and artefacts which could add substantially to our knowledge of prehistoric ritual and funerary practices and contemporary environment and land use.



RCAHMS records the monument as NB 43 SW 26.

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

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Printed: 21/02/2019 07:41