Scheduled Monument

Loch of Yarrows, cairn 550m ENE of South YarrowsSM8520

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)
Local Authority
ND 31222 43362
331222, 943362


The monument comprises the remains of a burial cairn dating from the Neolithic or Bronze Age.

The cairn lies at approximately 100m OD on a W-facing hill slope close to Loch of Yarrows. Unlike most of the prehistoric ritual monuments clustered around the loch, this cairn is situated in a low-lying position where it cannot be seen easily from the other sites. The cairn measures approximately 8.5m in diameter and stands up to 0.6m high.

The monument was first recorded by the antiquarian J Anderson in 1870 as one of three "small cairns with central cists, arranged in a line at a short distance from each other. These were all opened long ago by idlers out of mere curiosity and all contained skeletons." A trench, which runs through the centre of the monument from E-W, is the probable work of these "idlers".

The area to be scheduled is circular, measuring 30m in diameter, to include the cairn and an area around it where evidence relating to its construction and use may be expected to survive, as shown in red on the attached map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved example of a prehistoric burial cairn. Despite antiquarian disturbance, the cairns have the potential, through excavation and analysis, to provide information on prehistoric ritual and funerary practices, and contemporary material culture and environment. The relationship between the cairn and the large number of other prehistoric ritual sites in the vicinity further enhances the importance of this monument.



RCAHMS records the monument as ND 34 SW 48.


Anderson, J. (1870) 'On the horned cairns of Caithness, their structural arrangement, contents of chambers, &c', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, Vol. 7, 502.

RCAHMS (1911) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the country of Caithness, London, 175, No. 549.

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.

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: 19/09/2019 20:09