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

Culsh Souterrain



An underground chamber was discovered on the farm of Culsh, about two miles distant from the Church of Tarland, which was cleared out in my presence in the month of August last, and which I shall now endeavour to describe. The cave occurs on a slope, the entry to it being so contrived as not to attract notice. Its extreme length is about 47 feet, it is curved in shape, and closely resembles in form the chamber near Newstead, Roxburghshire.

Its width at the entry is about two feet, increasing gradually as it recedes to an average width of about six feet. The extreme end is of a circular shape. The height from the floor, which is on solid rock, increases from five feet near the entry to an average height of about six feet towards the other end. The walls are formed of boulders of various sizes, and they converge as they rise upwards, the cave being about a foot narrower at the roof than at the base of the walls. On the top of the walls are placed large and heavy slabs of stone as a roof, the whole being covered over with earth, so as to harmonise with the surrounding surface. So well has this been done that it was only from the protruding of one of the covering slabs and its consequent removal, that the cave was discovered.

When it was opened up, it was found to be filled nearly to the top with what appeared to be a rich unctuous earth, resembling that of a churchyard more than the ordinary soil of the country. Analysis of the earth did not lead to any marked result. The earth was removed by the farmer to be used as manure, and there were about thirty cartloads of it. At a spot on the floor, about 18 feet from the entry, were found fragments of an urn, several pieces of bones, apparently those of an ox, a quantity of smooth pebbles, two querns, and a mass of ferruginous matter, which appeared to have undergone the action of fire. Portions of them are now exhibited, as well as a large bead which was found among the earth when it was in the course of being spread on the field. A large quantity of charcoal was mixed with the earth from the entrance to the spot where the relics were found.
From the Aberdeen Journal Notes and Queries v3, 1908.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd February 2013ce
Edited 2nd February 2013ce

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