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


Chambered Cairn


Greywether's notes are a succinct summary of a somewhat confusing, yet very atmospheric long cairn. The location is excellent, set upon the western flank of Horse Law, overlooking Westruther Burn, the water course needing to be crossed if the monument is approached from the Greens Moor long cairn lying virtually directly to the west (a little over half a mile distant and visible upon the horizon). Note that this did not present a great obstacle at the time of my visit and that the minimalist 'bridge' mentioned in G's notes still exists.

Preconceptions are shattered immediately upon arrival, the mass of stone visible from Greens Moor turning out to be a large, drystone sheepfold standing immediately east of the cairn. No prizes for guessing the source of that, then. Orientating myself accordingly, I realise what lays before me is in fact a heavilly robbed long cairn, not the expected round variety. Not an issue, since I love long cairns, me. Even better, there are also the clearly identifiable remaining orthostats of a chamber - G and Canmore cite a possible other, although owing to the profusion of heather I'll need to take their word on that. As regards the obvious one, the stones are substantial and aesthetic, the passage facing south - that is to the right when looking across the chamber towards the sheepfold.

As I sit and have lunch, back facing the lashing rain, the sheer, primeval 'reality' of the moment begins to sink into my consciousness, something infinitely more welcome than the moisture beginning to find its way inexorably through my waterproofs and dampen my knees. OK, accusations of 'wouldn't be such fun if this was how you had to live all the time' hold much more than a grain of truth.... but I do think periodically reminding one's self just how brutal Mother Nature can be - even in the limited UK sense - holds much benefit for the individual. But I digress....

Looking west I notice another, large cairn some way to the right of the Greens Moor long cairn. Must be Westruther and the next port of call. Ha! With all this rain perhaps the 'port' analogy is appropriate? I leave Burngrange long cairn well satisfied... sure, under finer conditions this site would provide an exceptional hang of many hours for those who like that sort of thing - like myself - but Scotland is Scotland and you have to take what you can get.
12th June 2011ce
Edited 12th June 2011ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment