Alongside the B974.
Although feels like the middle of nowhere.
I didn’t know about this cairn and you can imagine my surprise as we drove past this huge pile of stones. There is a large parking area near the cairn which is used as a ‘view point’. There were lots of people enjoying the view but no one seemingly taking any notice of the cairn – their loss.
The cairn is easily as large as the Memsie Cairn (H.S. site) and someone has built a modern mini-cairn on top of it. It wouldn’t take much to get rid of this unwelcome parasite.
Needless to say there are fantastic views in all directions.
This was a great surprise and well worth stopping off for if you are driving along this fairly remote road.
This is quite possibly one of the easiest major upland cairns to visit in the UK, being just a very short walk from the B974. Consequently - as you would no doubt expect - it's by no means a classic, having inevitably suffered somewhat from the unwanted attentions of motor travellers 'stretching their legs' - if not their minds - over the years .... note however that, most unusually, there would appear to have been little removal of mass... rather the opposite, in fact, giving the cairn a rather contemporary 'feel', shall we say? Yeah, somehow I don't think they used concrete slabs back in the Bronze Age, although whether these form the remnants of an OS triangulation pillar, which apparently once crowned the cairn, is a moot point.
Despite the in truly appalling conditions of driving rain, I'm joined by several passing visitors during my hour on site... the Germans, at least, quite receptive to my 'most probably Bronze Age' explanations. I say 'most probably' because, somehow, Cairn O'Mount seems almost too well positioned to be true, perfectly located to take in a truly exceptional view towards the coast to the south. Having said that, though, Canmore appears quite convinced, so more than happy with that. The other points of the compass present vistas of rounded, heather-clad hills swept by opaque clouds of vapour this late afternoon. No doubt on better days the effect is sublime, rather than brutal... but there is no denying the vibe today.
There are a number of other cairns in the vicinity, that mentioned by Drewbhoy, immediately beside the road, a fragment of its (presumed) former self. Another, St Ringan's Cairn, downhill to the approx south [NO 6549 7944], apparently formed the base of a Pictish Cross Slab found within during 1965. Not Bronze Age, then - unless an existing cairn was 'recycled' - but any surviving link to the Picts should be treasured. The latter monument suggests a long standing continuity of local ritualist practice upon this high ground which has continued to this very day in the guise of a myriad deposits of flowers and more personal offerings covering the immediate environs of Cairn O'Mount. I'm normally against such things but.... well.... the examples I looked at were so heartbreakingly poignant in content - not to mention overtly Christian (which I admit was most unexpected) - as to banish any thought of negative reservations. Hey, I guess you have to (try to) cope with the loss of loved ones in any way you can.
Cairn O'Mount. Still relevant after millennia, still serving the local community.
The cairn is situated on the west side on Scotland's most famous roads, the B974. Normally one of the first roads blocked during winter and almost always the last to re-open. From Strachan head south on the twisty and often steep road. The cairn can't be missed. It sits on the crest of hill with fantastic views south, the all round scenery is superb.
The cairn is over 15 meters wide and stands at 31/2 meters high. Being in a scenic place the cairn is still used. Flowers are left in respect of those who have passed away. Other offerings have also probably been left. The trig point that sat on top of the cairn has hopefully fallen down and not been vandalised.
Only a few meters walk from the lay by. A perfect stop for fresh air on the way down to Glasgow.