South Clettreval Chambered Cairn
South Clettreval Chambered Cairn

There are several prehistoric monuments on the southern slope of South Clettreval hill. The easiest to access is a fascinating combination of an aisled house and a chambered cairn. The cairn was established first, and the aisled house was later built over the west end of the cairn. The whole site was enclosed within an enclosure wall.

Finds of pottery discovered during excavations in the 1930s are kept at the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. These finds suggest that the site was occupied as early as the 1st century AD and was not completely abandoned until the 6th century.

Neither the house nor the cairn is terribly large, but it is easy to make out the structure from the surviving stonework. The roundhouse measures about 7.5 metres diameter, with very thick walls up to 2.2 metres wide. Further down the hill is a possible standing stone and another chambered cairn, known as Tighe Cloiche.

To reach the South Clettreval remains, take the single-lane access road leading east from Tigharry to the power station atop South Clettreval hill. Park at the top of the hill, just before the power station. The cairn and roundhouse are easily visible on the slope below.

You will have to hop the fence, and do wear waterproof footwear, because the ground is boggy - but this is the Hebrides, so you already knew that, right?

You will see the name of the site spelled several different ways, including Clettraval with an 'a', Clettreval with an 'e', and the Gaelic 'Cleitreabhal'.