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


Clava Cairn


The substantial Granish lies a little under a mile to the south of the wondrous Avielochan clava cairn; as such it 'should' be a relatively easy matter to combine a visit to both these fine monuments. I say 'should' because I unfortunately made a complete and utter hash of my - albeit ultimately successful - attempt. Jeez, what a muppet! Give me an open hillside and compass and I'll (more often than not) find the proverbial needle.... however add forestry tracks to the equation and I usually end up just 'getting' the needle. However it doesn't have to be that way... it really is quite simples, in fact. If you pay attention, that is. Stop talking at the back, Gladman.

From Avielochan... cross the railway bridge and follow the path to the right, passing Recharr farm before proceeding through a gate - again, to the right - labelled 'Speyside Way'. Now this is the crucial part, assuming you wish to avoid wandering around for a couple of extra miles in the pouring rain upon the aforementioned Speyside Way. Nice as it is, not the place to be when totally lost and unable to fix your position. Therefore take the next (unsignposted) right, marked with a post bearing an acorn image, and ignore all subsequent deviations. This will eventually lead you to Loch nan Carraigean, where you will locate the monument overlooking its far (southern) shore. Hey, even I did in the end, so my thanks to the unnamed Scot who, albeit inadvertently, was responsible for me stumbling upon a signpost marked 'Loch nan Carraigean 1.5 miles'. It's only funny in retrospect, believe me.

So was it worth it? Well, as Meg Ryan (I think) exclaims in that dodgy 80's film... "Yes!, Yes!, Yes!" Only difference is I'm not faking it. Yeah, despite the driving rain, despite the remaining couple of large circle stones of this Clava ring cairn lying prostrate upon the ground... and despite the debris from 'happy campers' littering the environs... this site is awesome. No, really. It is. Canmore (Henshall 1963) reckons the cairn is 56ft in diameter, and it's clearly pretty well preserved, too. This is big by any standards. Add perhaps the most substantial retaining kerb - upon the southern arc, anyway - I've seen this side of Beltany and the conditions are more or less immaterial. Apart from forcing me to put away the DSLR and grab a few images on me Dad's compact, that is.

The cairn is topped by a 'double-trunked' tree. Which seems appropriate, somehow. Everything is substantial about this ring cairn. Even the weather. Not to mention the walk to get here. But it doesn't have to be like that..... if you can read a map!
4th July 2011ce
Edited 4th July 2011ce

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