Scheduled Monument

Cnoc na Croich, chambered cairnSM6550

Status: Designated


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

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
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 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: 25/01/2021 23:18