Scheduled Monument

Stones of Via, enclosure and stone setting, Loch of ClumlySM1393

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
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: enclosure (ritual or funerary rather than defensive or domestic)
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
HY 26004 16027
326004, 1016027


The monument comprises the remains of a prehistoric stone setting, lying just off-centre within a very extensive but now much flattened oval embankment. The monument was first scheduled in 1937, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: this re-scheduling rectifies this.

The stone setting now forms the most visible element of the monument. This comprises a massive stone slab, measuring 1.7m by 1.4m and 0.4m thick, and a group of six large stone blocks set in the ground. The large slab rests on two of the six blocks, and the remaining four blocks are close by. There are also several smaller stones in the vicinity. The stones lie within a slightly dished oval area, measuring some 75m NE-SW by 90m transversely. Previously this area was enclosed by a bank or wall, recorded as an upstanding feature in 19th-century surveys and as a surface indication in 1928. The exact position of the bank can no longer be determined on the ground surface.

The stone setting has been interpreted previously as the remains of a chambered tomb within a lost cairn, but is now thought to be a more complex ritual and funerary site. The 19th-century surveys recorded a 'tumulus' and a well abutting the southern edge of the enclosure, with a second 'tumulus' and a cist recorded some 180m WNW of the stones. The site can best be interpreted as some form of ritual enclosure with a central tabular structure and outlying burial cairns. The presence of the well may also be significant. It is likely to date from the late 3rd or early 2nd millennium BC.

The area to be scheduled is oval in shape, measuring 108m NW-SE by 95m NE-SW, centred on the centre of the enclosure, as marked in red on the accompanying map. It includes the group of stones and the sub-surface remains of the enclosure, and an area around them in which evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument is likely to survive. The top 30cm of the track that overlies the enclosure on its NW arc, and the fence that abuts that track, are excluded from scheduling to allow for their maintenance.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the remains of an unusual prehistoric ritual enclosure, which, despite the effects of ploughing, has the potential to provide important information about prehistoric funerary and ritual architecture and practices.



RCAHMS records the monument as HY21NE 3.


Davidson J L and Henshall A S 1989, THE CHAMBERED CAIRNS OF ORKNEY, Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 159-60.

NSA 1845, THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNTS, Edinburgh, XV, Orkney, 53.


Thomas F W L 1852, 'Account of some celtic antiquities in Orkney', ARCHAEOLOGIA 34, 88-136.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 07/12/2023 21:21