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Warehouse East

Warehouse East chambered cairn (ND 309 423) lies approximately 350 m towards the northeast of Warehouse North. Davidson and Henshall observed that the cairn could have been made more prominent by building it on a nearby rocky knoll. To do this however would have made it extremely difficult to cut the sockets for the orthostats, and would have prevented the knoll from being used as a quarry for building material. The cairn has a steep sided, well-defined boundary being roughly 18 m diameter (1).

The chamber and entrance passage are aligned to face roughly north. Both were open to the sky and filled with stones when investigated by Rhind in 1854. The tripartite chamber was similar to that of Warehouse North. Finds from the chamber were limited to fragments of three human skulls and other bone fragments.

Unusually the cairn appears to have been radially segmented by a number of large slabs set on edge. Davidson and Henshall make no further comment on these radial slabs. However the idea of radial differentiation has also been noted at the Clava Cairns, near Inverness, the Tomnaverie recumbent stone circle, Aberdeenshire and at the North Mains ceremonial earthwork, Perthshire for example (2)(3). Closer to home, a Bronze Age monument tentatively interpreted as a 'Bronze Age temple' at Halmie, Dunbeath, Caithness also exhibits radial structural features.

It could be argued that the radial slabs may represent a major re-modelling of Warehouse East during the Bronze Age. A further small cairn built 7.5 m to the east of Warehouse East may also be Bronze Age  (1).

1) Davidson J L and Henshall A S; 1991 'The Chambered Cairns of Caithness' p 152.

2) Bradley R 2000 'The Good Stones' p 220.

3) Ashmore P J 1996 'Neolithic and Bronze Age Scotland' p 79.       

Warehouse East passage

Warehouse East radial slab

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