Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Rubha Ghaisinis, Carnan, Sig More (8903)

Current Priority
2
East
80979
North
845468
Site Type
Chambered Cairn
Period
4th-3rd Mil BC

The remains of a much disturbed stony mound, sited on the coast edge, may represent a Neolithic chambered cairn. The site stands on the edge of a tidal islet, which at times is entirely cut off by the sea. The visible remains comprise of a low mound, measuring some 11m in diameter and standing up to 1m high. The seaward edge (north) of the mound is actively eroding and stony cairn material can be seen in the coastal exposures. Towards the center of the mound, the tops of two rows of large stones, probably representing the side walls of a passage, protrude through the turf. These are orientated east-west. Further large stones at the eastern tip of the mound may be part of a facade. There is no longer any trace of the surrounding kerb, noted previously by Henshall (see RCAHMS Canmore entry). In addition to coastal erosion, this site is being undermined by rabbit burrowing. It is recommended that a survey and/or rescue excavation be undertaken without delay.

Update October 2014: In terms of the active erosion reported, it is felt this is of old surface deposits of soil and turf formed by sea-washed/windblown seaweed and sand and sheep grazing rather than the original cairn structure, which, if it followed the Uist model, would have been made entirely of rock stones, boulders and slabs. (see photo 1) No active rabbit burrowing was observed and this seems unlikely given that the whole site is probably inundated at extreme high tides. The 'holes' are more likely to be washed out cavities between the stone structure. (see photo 2)

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Poor
Action
Visit - check condition; characterise site and obtain dating evidence ;
Survey site - using several techniques to characterise site

Over to you...

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Record 7 on map SU 13 in CZAS, Grimsay, Benbecula & South Uist (west), 2005

Other records:

NMRS
10161
SMR
MWE10161

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

Click on an update to expand it.

25th October, 2014 by DavidNewman
Survey Information
User:
DavidNewman
Date:
Oct. 25, 2014
Tidal state:
low
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
intertidal
Coastally eroding?:
has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Description:

The remains of a much disturbed stony mound, sited on the coast edge, may represent a Neolithic chambered cairn. The site stands on the edge of a tidal islet, which at times is entirely cut off by the sea. The visible remains comprise of a low mound, measuring some 11m in diameter and standing up to 1m high. The seaward edge (north) of the mound is actively eroding and stony cairn material can be seen in the coastal exposures. Towards the center of the mound, the tops of two rows of large stones, probably representing the side walls of a passage, protrude through the turf. These are orientated east-west. Further large stones at the eastern tip of the mound may be part of a facade. There is no longer any trace of the surrounding kerb, noted previously by Henshall (see RCAHMS Canmore entry). In addition to coastal erosion, this site is being undermined by rabbit burrowing. It is recommended that a survey and/or rescue excavation be undertaken without delay.

Update October 2014: In terms of the active erosion reported, it is felt this is of old surface deposits of soil and turf formed by sea-washed/windblown seaweed and sand and sheep grazing rather than the original cairn structure, which, if it followed the Uist model, would have been made entirely of rock stones, boulders and slabs. (see photo 1) No active rabbit burrowing was observed and this seems unlikely given that the whole site is probably inundated at extreme high tides. The 'holes' are more likely to be washed out cavities between the stone structure. (see photo 2)

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
highly visible (substantial remains)
How visible are the remains? (in section):
limited visibility in section
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible on foot (no footpath)
The site is:
don't know
Comments and recommendations
Comments:

Relative to coastal sites on the west side of Uist, this location is very sheltered, and taking all these factors into account, and the fact that the main cause of degradation to date - robbing - has now ceased, this structure feels to be less of a priority than others.

Recommendations:

An up to date aerial survey would be useful to record the existing structures and monitor future erosion patterns. It is hoped to carry this out before the end of 2014.

Demote to priority 3