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

Cat Cairn



I have seen Cat Cairn many times on my visits to Aberdeen. The cairn sits on a high point on Tullos Hill overlooking the Altens industrial estate. I have often looked down Crawpeel Road and noticed the cairn sitting atop the furze-covered hill but have never taken time to visit it because whenever I'm in the area it's work related and all I want to do is leave and head for home. Anyway, I was staying in Altens for a few days and had time to kill so decided to walk up to the cairn.

The hill is part of the Loriston Country Park and can be accessed from the car park on Hareness Road. Unfortunately you can't park in the car park as the area was recently occupied by travellers. The travellers were evicted and then prevented from returning by blocking the entrance with huge boulders, however, parking alongside the road is not a problem unless you are driving a white transit van and towing a caravan.

It takes five to ten minutes to walk from the road to the cairn. The cairn is pretty much what you'd expect, a large round cairn of stones, If you look at the amount of stones in the field walls that lead up to and from the cairn it's easy to imagine this cairn being two or three times as large, with stones being robbed for walling. Another thing about the walls is that they use this and the nearby Baron's Cairn as boundaries, whether this reflects prehistoric boundaries is a matter for debate. It could also be argued that the walls start and terminate at the cairns because they were a good source of materials for the walls. Who knows?

What I really want to say about the cairn concerns the views and it is something that you can't really appreciate unless you visit the site. The view here is spectacular, this small hilltop commands views across the sea, the coast, the Dee river mouth, the city of Aberdeen, the hills beyond the city and on a clear day I would imagine you could get a glimpse of the Cairngorms from this point. It is probably the perfect location for a monument and if you are in area I would definitely recommend a visit.

At this point I was going to wax lyrically about a Bronze Age monument overlooking the Oil Age city but that all sounded a bit cheesy so I won't bother.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
9th May 2009ce
Edited 9th May 2009ce

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