Killin / The Falls of Dochart has to be one of my favourite places in Scotland.
If you are lucky enough to visit in nice weather it is fantastic to just sit on the large boulders watching the river flow around the rocks and island and down under the old stone bridge. I have visited many times but until now have never got around to obtaining the key from the Old Mill in order to visit the Clan Macnab burial ground – which just happens to be in the centre of the promontory fort.
After signing for the key to the access gate (which is on the bridge) a short walk along a ‘path’ takes you into the trees which cover the island. The ditch/rampart crossing the island is fairly easy to spot being about 1m high but largely overgrown. In all honesty there isn’t that much in the prehistoric way to see.
I continued on to the walled burial ground and entered through the metal gate.
The information board states that there are 15 graves here, 9 of them chiefs of the clan. There is one very old looking grave slab laying flat on the ground with a worn figure carved onto it.
This is a very peaceful place. Surrounded by trees with only the sound of birds and the rushing of water either side of the island from the higher falls. I am so glad I finally took the trouble to visit. If you happen to visit Killin (which is worth visiting in its own right) make sure you visit the Clan Macnab burial ground as well.
Killin is a lovely place to visit and the Falls of Dochart are simply wonderful. This is one of my favourite places in Britain and one I visit as often as I can – which in reality is once every couple of years!
However, until today, I didn't realise that this is also the site of a prehistoric enclosure!
There is a large free public car park and it is only a short walk to the old stone bridge which crosses the River Dochart. In the middle of the bridge is a metal gate which is locked. The key is available from the folklore Centre. This gives access to the island in the middle of river which is the burial ground of the Clan MacNab.
Although I have been meaning to have a look around the burial ground I have never got around to it but I am sure it would be interesting to have a look at the old headstones. The island is covered in trees.
It also turns out that this island was originally a prehistoric site.
CANMORE states: 'On Innis Bhuidhe, a long, narrow, island in the river Dochart, are the remains of a small promontory fort and an enclosure. The fort is formed by a ditch, with an inner rampart, cut across the island approximately 70m from its NE end. A modern path cuts across the centre of the ditch and has obliterated any traces of an entrance. The enclosure is roughly rectangular and measures80m x 26m. It is formed by an earthen bank best preserved at its NE and SW ends and has a maximum height of 2.2m' - 20.8.1969
'The monument comprises of the remains of two forts of prehistoric date surviving as a series of earthworks and occupies a long, narrow island in the River Dochart at around 110m OD to the Falls of Dochart' – 26.11.1996
On my next visit to Killin I will make a point of visiting this site.
There is one obvious question to ask – how exactly did they get on and off the island in prehistoric times? The river currents are very strong these days, perhaps they were different then? Or perhaps some sort of wooden walk way was constructed?