Two well-preserved chambered cairns situated on the edge of Loch Calder. The loch level has been raised in recent years – so wellies are a must if you plan to visit!
The Tullochs of Assery are two well-preserved Neolithic chambered cairns, positioned on the shores of Loch Calder. The earlier of these (Tulloch of Assery A), is a short-horned cairn, while the later (Tulloch of Assery B) is a round cairn. Both were excavated by Corcoran in 1961 and left open, and cairn B has since been resurveyed in response to erosion caused by rising water levels.
Tulloch of Assery A has a highly unusual plan of two chambers back-to-back, approached by separate passages from the north and south. In contrast, Tulloch of Assery B comprises a central stalled chamber with access from the southeast, perhaps constructed in two phases. Radiocarbon dates have been retrieved for each cairn, indicating their primary use in the 4th millennium BC.
Finds from the original excavation of the cairns included flint artefacts (arrowheads, tools, and flaked/chipped pieces) and pottery fragments. The landscape surrounding Loch Calder is rich in prehistoric remains; the nearby Tulach an t-Sionnaich is a third chambered cairn in the immediate area.
To reach the cairns, pass through the gate and head towards the trees on the edge of loch. You can either make your way through the trees or around edge of loch to reach cairns.
You can find out more about the Tullochs of Assery, as well as other archaeological and historical sites, on Canmore, Scotland’s historic environment record.
These chambered cairns were not originally so close to the water’s edge – a dam was built on the eastern side of Loch Calder during the 20th century, raising the level by around 3m.