Cnoc Freiceadain Long Cairns

  • Near Thurso, Caithness



Prehistoric burial monument

The two cairns sit at a right angles to one another, about 60m apart on the edge of a hillside, surrounded by open countryside. They likely date to the mid-4th millennium BC, or about 5,500 years ago, but may have been altered or re-used over many years.

These cairns are burial monuments built by early farmers. They attest to a belief in the afterlife among early prehistoric people in Scotland.

Unexcavated and undisturbed

The Cnoc Freiceadain cairns have not been excavated, but from excavations on similar sites we can make reasonable guesses as to their layout and contents. We know they have long, low chambers within the body of the cairn, with mounded and horned ends.

Many Neolithic burial monuments were excavated or ‘robbed’ in the past and have not been investigated using scientific techniques. The undisturbed nature of the Cnoc Freiceadain cairns makes them particularly important. Inside the tombs, the chambers are likely to be corbelled with lintelled entrances: carefully constructed, and perhaps displaying scratched decoration typical of Neolithic art.

Opening times

Open year-round.

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