The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




<b>Sarsgrum</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Nearest Town:Thurso (74km ENE)
OS Ref (GB):   NC37926435 / Sheet: 9
Latitude:58° 32' 13.85" N
Longitude:   4° 47' 4.66" W

Added by Rhiannon

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On the A838 – right next to a derelict farmhouse overlooking the Kyle of Durness.

Funny how Rhiannon posted folklore about this site only yesterday and now here I am posting field notes about the place!

This is a super site and I am really surprised that no one has commented on it before now giving it is right next to the main (only) road. As anyone who has visited this part of the world will know you can park pretty much where you like.

The cairn is right next to the derelict cottage and is enclosed by a stone wall. The pile of stones is quite large but best of all is the huge cap stone lying on top of it and its exposed cist!. There are also superb coastal views from the top of the cairn.

I love this part of the world. Where else can you park on an A road which has passing places and where you have to stop your car as there is a lamb suckling milk from their mother in the middle of the road! If you like isolation – this is the place to come. Fab!

I heartily recommend a visit to all who come to the far north – you have to drive past the thing anyway!

CANMORE states:
‘The remains of a large cairn about 50ft in diameter. Most of it has been removed, exposing a cist lying N-S and consisting of a covered slab, 4ft 10ins long by 3ft 4ins broad and 8ins thick, supported on three upright slabs, a fourth at the S end having fallen’. 1909

‘An overgrown cairn as described by RCAHMS and measuring 16m in diameter and 2m high’ 1960

‘This cairn, with cist exposed, as described by previous authorities’ 1978
Posted by CARL
15th August 2014ce


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This is really such a superb part of the country and reading about it makes me want to go back. The cairn might not be the one in the story - I can't find one now known by the name 'Carn Glas' (although it's common enough). But it could be, it's right by the road and big enough at 50ft diameter and 6ft high to be noticeable. It's got a c5ft long slab, a hefty 8" thick, covering a cist.

The Labourer's Dream.

A labourer (navvy) was working on the road between Rhi-conich and Durness, in Sutherlandshire, about fifty years ago, and dreamed on a Saturday night that if he rose early on Monday morning, so as to be at Carn Glas at sunrise, he would see a crow sitting on a stone. Under that stone he would find the gold which was hid after the murder of a Norwegian prince.

The labourer was in so great a hurry to get the gold that he could not wait till Monday, but set off on Sunday evening, as he had a long way to go. When he reached Carn Glas, there was a crow sitting on a stone, but he did not know which was the right one, for there was a crow on every stone!

People who could interpret dreams said that this happened because he broke the Sabbath; he ought to have waited till the Lord's Day had gone past, and he would have been certain to get the gold.
From p373 in volume 9 of 'Folk-lore' (1898).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th August 2014ce
Edited 14th August 2014ce