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Chambered Cairn

<b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by HobImage © IH
Also known as:
  • Alcaig Manse

Nearest Town:Dingwall (4km WNW)
OS Ref (GB):   NH577568 / Sheet: 26
Latitude:57° 34' 43.93" N
Longitude:   4° 22' 48.21" W

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<b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by Hob <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by Hob <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by Hob <b>Mulchaich</b>Posted by Hob


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I visited Mulchaich Cairn in 2012 after a clean up in 2011 detailed in Canmore ID 12763 (see Links). A survey plan of the cairn is available on the site.

Mulchaich Cairn is constructed on top of a gently rising natural knoll, with fine views all round. The unusual feature of Mulchaich is the double kerbs. The inner kerb is on the crest of the mound and the outer kerb is on the slope.

The circular inner kerb has a c. 60 feet diameter and the oval outer kerb on the slopes of the mound has a maximum diameter of c. 150 feet in the NW-SE axis.

Mulchaich Cairn has been severely robbed. The interior of the cairn has only one upright stone, an earthset slab c. 3 feet high by 3 feet wide. There are several 6-8 feet slabs nearby suggesting there was a cist or passage in the cairn. The inner kerb is intermittent with some large earthset stones measuring 5-6 feet still in situ. The band between the kerbs is largely grassy, measuring from 30-45 feet across with some small earthset stones exposed. The outer kerb has large gaps with short stretches of 1-2 feet stones left to define the perimeter.

Like Hob, I was frustrated to find out about the cup marked stone after my visit.
Posted by markj99
8th January 2021ce
Edited 8th January 2021ce

This place attracted my notice on the map as it appeared to have a contour line all to itself. But it did not say 'rems of'. Which is a bit misleading, as there are others on the Black Isle which do, but are in much better condition than this one. It's apparently the remains of a chambered cairn. You wouldn't know to look at it, and that's assuming you could see it hiding behind all the bracken and other assorted thorny bushes.

If you were to get that far, I'd assume you had navigated a safe route past the very interested looking male bovines who were edging ever slightly closer when I visited, but in that manner that precludes any actual movement whilst one is looking at them. Rather they waited until they weren't being watched, then sidled closer.

Having said that, Mulchaich has got enigmatic traces of bits and bobs that an enthusiast would possibly enjoy making sense of. There's a linear stone thing going on to the east side, and a couple of the big middle stones remain in situ, perhaps sufficient for someone who knew their stuff to deduce a bit more about the original placement. All I could think about this was that it was in a prominent spot, easily viewed from all around. But then you could probably work that out from looking at the map.

Irritatingly, I found on return home, that there is a cup marked stone here too. I even photographed the blighter without knowing it. Except I photographed the wrong side, as the cupmarked side faces outwards, which was hidden by bracken. Hmpf!
Hob Posted by Hob
18th August 2005ce
Edited 18th August 2005ce


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"Alcaig Manse (A S Henshall 1963). This cairn, of uncertain type, is overgrown and considerably robbed. It is about 55 ft. diam. with a now rather intermittent peristalith of heavy boulders of which one on the SE segment has about 15 cups, one of these being 7 ins across and 2 ins deep.
A massive stone, 8 ft. within the W. edge of the cairn, is 2 ft. above the cairn material and, in an excavated hollow some 8 ft to the south east of it, another stone is exposed to a depth of 2 feet. Towards the E side of the cairn, is a large, displaced slab. The presence of these stones suggests the existence of a chamber.
Forty feet outside the peristalith may be a comparatively modern bank.
V G Childe 1944; A A Woodham 1956 "
Hob Posted by Hob
18th August 2005ce


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Canmore ID 12763

Canmore ID 12763
Posted by markj99
8th January 2021ce