The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Ring Cairn


Visited 21 April 2012. Tucked away in the outskirts of Inverness, this seems something of a well-kept secret. Situated immediately north of the city's Raigmore Hospital, in a small area of greenery next to a little babbling beck (or should that be babbling burn?), the cairn is not in its original position. Surrounded on all sides by buildings and tarmac, the ambience is lacking.

Despite all this, it's difficult not to be taken with this fine circle of stone. The stones appear to be graded, with the largest in the SW of the ring, very like the ruined near-neighbour at Culduthel. The largest stones have a lovely egg-shape, something they share with another nearby site, Torbreck. There are a few "loose" stones in the centre of the ring, which I can only assume were faithfully re-positioned in this way when the circle was moved wholesale from its original location. It definitely has what Burl might describe as "Clava affinities", although it lacks any outer free-standing stone circle.

I spend about 15 miuntes here, getting puzzled looks from the frequent passers-by on their way home from work. I imagine many people pass this way without giving any thought to what this circle is. As is often the case with an urban site, it's difficult to get much of a sense of place, especially knowing it's been moved, but nevertheless it retains a certain something, perhaps arising from its stubborn survival against pretty steep odds.

Definitely worth the (minimal) effort of a visit. Superb finds from the site, including a couple of welll-preserved urns, can be seen on display in Inverness' excellent Musuem.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd May 2012ce

Comments (1)

It is a bonny wee place, and it is a burn :-) drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
3rd May 2012ce
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