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Borgie (Chambered Cairn) — Miscellaneous

The heavily overgrown remains of this chambered cairn lie in a roadside field opposite the little hamlet of Borgie - near a hotel catering for the sort of people seeking 'Highland experiences' whilst driving pristine 4x4s. You know the type. Judging by the extreme inertia of the field gate to movement it would appear few wish to view this monument any more. Which, in my view, is a pity since there is a real sense of the past co-existing easily with the present here, with the comings and goings of the folk occupying the houses opposite.

According to Canmore:

"At NC 6737 5940 situated prominently on the S side of a rocky out-crop is a severely robbed, chambered cairn. It is about 15.0m in diameter, with a maximum height of 0.6m in the centre; elsewhere the cairn is reduced to a stony rim and scattered stones. In the centre a chamber is indicated by two opposing earthfast boulders 1.1m apart and protruding up to 0.6m through the cairn material. OS (J B) 16/9/77"
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
20th January 2018ce

Loedebest Wood (Round Cairn) — Miscellaneous

This cairn (or cairns?) lies to the immediate left of the stony track from Dunbeath when approaching the buildings at Loedebest... and is therefore a 'bonus site' for travellers seeking a personal audience with the great chambered cairns upon/around Cnoc Na Maranaich. The situation is fine, overlooking the deep defile of Dunbeath Water, so well worth tarrying a short while.

To be honest I only positively identified one cairn here, which did not appear to have any internal structure... at least nothing surviving in situ. Consequently the following Canmore record is intriguing:

"A: At ND 1394 3171 is a small cairn, some 5.0m in diameter and 0.6m high. A cist formed by three stone slabs is exposed in the centre.
B: At ND 1397 3174, cut by the road, a circular, turf-covered mound, approximately 13.0m in diameter and 1.0m high, composed of stone, is possibly a cairn. OS (R L) 14/3/68.

Cairn 'A' is as described. The cist is exposed to 0.9m long E-W by 0.4m wide and 0.2m deep. The cairn has an edging slab in the N. Mound 'B' is also as described. It is unquestionably a cairn." OS (J M) 17/8/82.

In retrospect the cairn images I've posted perhaps represent 'Cairn B'. But what of the other?
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
20th January 2018ce

Kylestrome (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

This is an unassuming, seemingly inviolate cairn set upon a craggy hill side a little to the north-west of the Kylesku bridge, the latter carrying the A894 across the meeting of Loch a' Chairn Bhain with Loch Glencoul to the north and, to my mind, a rather graceful, aesthetically pleasing structure in its own right. The scenery is archetypal west coast, the fine peaks of Quinag applying the pièce de résistance to the approx south.

According to Canmore: "A well-preserved cairn, 15.5m in diameter, maximum height 1.7m. It is considerably mutilated, but otherwise undisturbed; there is no evidence of a chamber." OS (W D J) 21/4/61 and (N K B) 22/80.

Incidentally don't forget to visit the nearby broch (just the other - southern - side of the road) and, if time and circumstances permit, take a boat trip along Loch Glencoul to gawp at Eas a' Chual Aluinn, Scotland's highest waterfall. No less.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
17th January 2018ce

Loch a' Chairn Bhain, Kylestrome (Broch) — Miscellaneous

In my opinion this is a particularly well - nay, evocatively - sited monument boasting some quite exquisite views across the loch to the peaks of Quinag.

Canmore reckons what we have here represents the remains of a "Probable solid-based broch".. [as opposed to galleried dun as previously thought]... "situated near the end of a rocky promontory or islet in the large sea loch Loch a' Chairn Bhain; the site is connected to the shore by a causeway made of boulders about 21m (70ft) long, 3m (10ft) wide and 60cm (2ft) high. The islet is now only cut off at high tide" (E W MacKie 2007).

Well worth stopping off upon the drive up/down the north-western coast in conjunction with the nearby Kylestrome cairn at NC21883426.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
17th January 2018ce

Hill of Shebster (Chambered Cairn) — Miscellaneous

According to the wondrous Audrey Henshall (1963) this represents "The heavily-robbed remains of this round, stalled cairn of Orkney-Cromarty type are 80ft in diameter"

Whereas the (equally great doing their thang) Ordnance Survey reckoned the following one year later:

"This turf-covered chambered cairn, 1.6m maximum height and approximately 26.0m in diameter, has been mutilated by an excavation trench in the NE. The top has been robbed revealing seven stone slabs forming the stalls of a gallery grave and two portal stones are in the SE corner of the cairn." (N K B) 13/11/64

Worth a wander over when visiting the mighty long cairns upon nearby Cnoc Freiceadain.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
17th January 2018ce

Ardvannie (Chambered Cairn) — Miscellaneous

This is a pretty substantial chambered cairn hidden away, in light woodland, to the left of a driveway/track accessing equestrian buildings from the A836. Not wishing to look around incognito in such an environment, I duly announced myself at the - to judge by the voices - clearly occupied house... but to no avail. I therefore checked out the monument anyway.

Although overgrown and sylvan, the large cairn possesses a clear chamber... not to mention an evocative, wistful vibe.

According to Canmore: "This Orkney-Cromarty Cairn measures 21m in diameter and 0.9m in height. A polygonal chamber lies to the E of the centre of the cairn." RCAHMS November 1977.

There is at least another cairn sited a little north, not to mention what, to my mind, are the remains of a fantastically sited hill fort upon Struie Hill to the south. Great views from that 'un.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
14th January 2018ce

Tongue Wood (Chambered Cairn) — Miscellaneous

Canmore reckons the evocative remains of this chambered cairn located within Tongue Wood are:

"...about 15m in diameter. The kerb of boulders survives intermittently, best preserved in the east and south. Several boulders within the kerb form no intelligible pattern." OS (JD) 26/4/60 and (ISS) 1/7/71

This is a great place to chill out for a while... but surprisingly difficult to locate (perhaps it was just me) if approaching steeply downhill from the A865, such has been the reclamation by Nature. In retrospect keep the tumbling stream to your left and the monument occupies a rise a little before Tongue House.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
14th January 2018ce

Achcheargary Burn (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

Yet another monument with remains of cist (most probably) still in situ. The cairn occupies a superb position overlooking the serpentine River Naver.... including an aerial view of the Achcheargary chambered cairn on the other side of the B871. Canmore has this to say:

"This cairn, at the edge of a natural shelf overlooking the plain of the River Naver, measures about 13.0m diameter and 1.2m maximum height, but the west part has been robbed to build adjoining walls. Where the cairn rubble has been cleared north of the centre, a slab edge 0.6m long and aligned NE-SW is exposed; it is probably the remains of a cist". OS (J M) 25/6/77
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
14th January 2018ce

Allt Ach Coille Na Borgie (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

Canmore has this to say about this trio of excellently sited cairns easily overlooked in the company of the great Skelpick Long and Coille Na Borgie monuments; easily, but, in my opinion, unfairly so:

"Three closely grouped cairns ('A'-'C') centred at NC 718 598 on the summit of a ridge overlooking the mouth of Strathnaver.

'A' the most southerly.. is about 10.5m in diameter and due to the slope is 2.0m high in the west, but of negligible height on the upper east side. The interior has been disturbed in places, but no cist or chamber is apparent. In common with the other cairns there is no evidence of a kerb.

'B' is situated above a small rocky slope. It measures approximately 17.0m east-west by 12.0m and stands to 2.1m high. War-time work has seriously mutilated the cairn on the east side and especially in the centre, where a wall face 2.1m high has been constructed.

'C' ... measures approximately 9.0m east-west by 8.0m and stands up to 1.4m high on the west side. Three slabs protruding up to 0.4m through the cairn material suggests this is possibly chambered; their poitions may indicate they are the back slab and possibly two portal stones of an Orkney-Cromarty chamber". OS (JB) 18/12/78

Visitors to the Achcoillenaborgie broch might, therefore, consider a visit... if so, the cairns grace the hillside to the left when facing away from the road.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
13th January 2018ce

Loch Caladail (Kerbed Cairn) — Miscellaneous

Canmore has this to say about this unexpectedly captivating kerbed cairn, set near the beguiling Loch Caladail:

"On a rise, a cairn 10.7m overall diameter and 0.8m high, partly robbed but not deep enough to expose a cist. Six boulders (two displaced) of the kerb survive in the SE arc. The rest of the kerb has been removed, leaving a trench 0.7m wide by 0.3m deep in which the boulders were embedded." [OS (W D J) 5/4/60 and (I S S) 22/7/71]

The monument can be seen from the summit stone grouping of Cnoc na Moine...
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
13th January 2018ce
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