Scheduled Monument

Carn Liath, chambered cairn and deserted settlement, KilmuirSM894

Status: Designated


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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.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: long cairn, Secular: settlement, including deserted and depopulated and townships
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NG 37155 68839
137155, 868839


The monument comprises a chambered cairn and the footings of post-medieval buildings. The cairn is a ritual and funerary monument of the Neolithic period (c. 4000-2000 BC), but the buildings are comparatively recent and probably date from the period between AD 1700-1900.

The cairn lies at approximately 45m OD, on the crest of a long ridge separating Loch Chaluim Chille from the coast. It was originally almost square in its final shape, aligned roughly NNW-SSE, 30m wide, with pointed horns protruding from each corner. Unfortunately, later surface disturbance has obscured much of this original layout, but the large stones defining the edge of the cairn can still be identified in the northern half of the monument. The cairn is bisected by a modern drystone dyke, which runs directly over the chamber. Elements of the chamber can be identified immediately to the N of the dyke and a massive chamber capstone projects from beneath its southern side. Two protruding stones on either side of the capstone, set about 2m away from the chamber, may indicate the presence of a facade which was later absorbed by the final phase of cairn construction. To the south of the cairn, the outline of an oval structure or enclosure is defined by large stones. This structure runs up to and possibly underneath the body of the cairn and it may represent a phase of activity associated with, or even predating, the cairn.

The northern side of the cairn has been disturbed by later activity, presumably related to the buildings whose remains survive to the N of the cairn itself. There are at least two buildings, one of which has two clear structural elements. Other rectilinear structures, presumably temporary sheep shelters or drystane practice works, can be seen in the body of the cairn itself.

The area to be scheduled includes the cairn, the post-medieval building remains, and an area around and between them where information relating to their construction and use may be expected to survive. It is rectangular in shape and measures 100m NNW-SSE by 50m, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.



No Bibliography entries for this designation

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

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Printed: 25/07/2024 11:40