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

Kinchyle of Dores

Clava Cairn


Poor Kinchyle of Dores.... hasn't had a good press, has it? Well, what there is of it. The 'press', that is.... since there's quite a bit of the monument left. Too overgrown, difficult of access. Oh come on gentlemen! Greywether and The Burl clearly did not take to this pretty well preserved clava, but I beg to differ. Aldourie was the site pre-selected for a visit upon my (pretty hurried, poorly researched) area notes; however the word 'relocated' caught the eye. Er, on second thoughts, no thanks. Kinchyle of Dores it is, then.

The reason for such dismissive obscurity is pretty obvious... if not understandable... upon arrival at apparently the right co-ordinates the clava cairn is very much conspicuous by its absence, hidden away in a woodland copse and protected from the casual glance by a lethal shield of gorse. Yeah, painful it might well have been, too. But having driven a not insignificant number of miles to be in the area I duly stick on the over trousers to protect the bits. Job done. It is possible to park more or less opposite at the entrance to Ballindarroch off the B862 (I left a note within the windscreen in courtesy) and, in retrospect, head through the field gate and cross the fence to the left if you so desire.

As noted by Greywether five relatively large stones still stand around an admittedly incomplete, but not inconsiderable kerb. According to Burl the tallest upright, to the south, is a full 6ft high, which seemed about right. Funnily enough. A towering front of hail clouds, a natural cathedral of vapour advancing with unnerving haste across a pristine blue sky, for me summed up the appeal of Kinchyle of Dores.... by all accounts, set just off the busy B862, the vibe here should be rubbish. But it is not. Far from it. Noise is minimal, visitors even less. Nature has reclaimed the environs, no holds barred. However the centre of the monument is carpeted by lush grass. I recline against an upright, brace myself against the periodic onslaught... and revel in the blinding light that follows, the atmosphere so clear and fresh I can literally taste it, colours so vibrant. It seems cremated bones were recovered from this loction. Now I won't for a moment pretend I could 'feel' any presence. Don't believe in that. However I am comfortable here. At peace, albeit in an invigorated, challenged way, something I do not see as a contradiction. Perhaps 'content' is a better adjective, the experience 'life affirming'? Yeah, that sounds about right. An oasis of calm within the eye of the storm.

Come to think of it what better memorial to the ancestors could there be?
1st July 2013ce
Edited 2nd July 2013ce

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