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Skelpick Long

Chambered Tomb

<b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by greywetherImage © greywether
Also known as:
  • Skelpick Burn

Nearest Town:Thurso (41km ENE)
OS Ref (GB):   NC722567 / Sheet: 10
Latitude:58° 28' 47.75" N
Longitude:   4° 11' 31.04" W

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<b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by postman <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by postman <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by postman <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by postman <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by postman <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by postman <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by greywether <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by greywether <b>Skelpick Long</b>Posted by greywether


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Visited 23.7.14

Just north of Skelpick, off the A836 at Bettyhill.
Along the same road but further south of Achcoillenaborgie broch.

I found this site to be more difficult than I was expecting. Firstly, you cannot see the chamber from the road. We pulled over at approximately the right place on the map and I headed east.

After crossing the barbed wire fence I had to weave my way through chest high ferns and gorse. Despite the (almost) tropical weather the ground was very bogy. It must be very wet in ‘normal’ Scottish summer weather!

I eventually located the river / bridge and then had to cross a second barbed wire fence.
In reality it is only a 10 minute walk from the road but it’s not an easy 10 minute walk – at least not the way I went!

The inside of chamber was completely overgrown, to the extent that it was difficult to climb inside. There was no chance of crawling under the remaining capstone.

It is obvious that this site receives few visitors – which is hardly surprising. In my humble opinion I would say you would be better off visiting Coille Na Borgie as not only is it much easier to access but it is also in better condition.
Posted by CARL
20th August 2014ce

This Burial chamber was the one that sparked off the whole trip up here, Greywethers pictures only served to tantalise though god bless him for that, I needed to see it up close.
Between two houses on different sides of the road there is a cattle grid, park here and jump the fence to the east. Try and pick out the path to the river where the bridge still awaits your patient feet. From far off the cairn looks to have a side entrance but it turned out to be just a dark bit . The chamber is accessed through the roof it has only one capstone, but in the chamber is another smaller chamber which probably has a technical term which now escapes me. I loved this one, the weather was good the views were great, but was it worth the 9 million mile pilgramage........You betcha!
postman Posted by postman
24th September 2007ce

Involves crossing the Skelpick Burn but this was possible at time of my visit. There is a bridge about 0.5 mile to the north. greywether Posted by greywether
2nd December 2003ce


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Interesting notes from a Victorian gentleman... featuring the archetypal, somewhat self conscious arrogance... that are nevertheless priceless scraps of detail relating to the 'opening' of the wondrous Skelpick Long Cairn:


At Skelpick, close to the farmhouse, are two round cairns, one nearly demolished, and the other has apparently been opened. Beyond this, on the right bank of the Skelpick burn, there is a long cairn, 80 or 90 yards in length, which I opened, and came upon a polygonal-shaped chamber, 11 feet diameter, the sides consisting of large stones 6 feet high, one of them 7 feet by 4 and 1J feet thick, placed at a distance from each other of 3 or 4 feet, the intervals being built up with long square stones. The roof had been formed by very large flags overlaying each other. The chamber had been opened from the top, and the whole inside was filled with stones and rubbish, so that I only cleared it out. Before I commenced operations, however, there was no appearance of it having been meddled with, and I dug it by chance, where the cairn appeared to be highest. Nothing whatever was found in it."

So much damage. So little applied science... "I dug it by chance". Nevertheless it survives as (in my opinion) one of the Uk's finest Neolithic long cairns. Come see it if you get the chance.
18th June 2016ce
Edited 18th June 2016ce