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Barns of Airlie Souterrain



Barns of Airlie Souterrain
Visited twice in Oct 92 and May 94.
This has got to be my fav souterrain (or fogou if yer Cornish!) that I have visited so far- I think cos it's 'wild'- i.e.- it hasn't been restored in any way- no plexiglass roof or nice safe ladders or doorway in. This is another one of these sites that I read about in "Scotland Before History" by Stuart Piggott long before I actually visited the place. The farmer has been totally fine about me tramping around his fields to go see this- be prepared though- in wet weather the side of the field you have to walk through to get to the souterrain can be real muddy and wet. At the end of the second field just to the west of Barns of Airlie farm there is a dry stane dyke, follow this along until you see a black hole in the field then drop down into this! It's not the biggest of entrances! Along with my souterrain/cairn exploration stuff (powerful torch, candle lanterns, waterproof matches) I've also found it useful to take my caving helmet- I've smacked my napper off too many roof lintels! The passage is really wide- almost two metres in places and it's apparently 24 metres long. There are a couple of cup markings on one of the roof lintels and what looks like some sort of snake pattern too. The thing that always gets me about this site is the temperature inside- I mean it's cold, but in a strange way it's really comforting- I could easily spend many hours in here in quiet meditation.

Follow the A93 north of Perth to Blairgowrie. Through the town, crossing the River Ericht and take the A926 towards Alyth. Past Alyth til you reach Airlie-there's a road up to the left just past the school towards Kirkton of Airlie. Barns of Airlie is just after here on the left- ask permission (and directions to the site) at the farm.
Posted by Martin
31st August 2001ce

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