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Loch Borralan East

Chambered Cairn

<b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Nearest Town:Ullapool (22km SSW)
OS Ref (GB):   NC26241118 / Sheet: 15
Latitude:58° 3' 20.62" N
Longitude:   4° 56' 42.28" W

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<b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Loch Borralan East</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Fieldnotes

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Every now and again the dedicated Citizen Cairn'd may - if he/she is lucky, that is - come across a monument that utterly confounds any preconceptions that may have been entertained beforehand. This is such a case and, suffice to say, mine are blown asunder. How could this Orkney-Cromarty chambered cairn have not graced this web-site years ago?

Whatever. I'm here in the North-West Highlands as a sort of tribute to the exquisitely sardonic Greywether, making an attempt to visit as many of the myriad chambered cairns shown on my old 1:50k OS Sheet 15 as I can during the two days I've allocated myself here... to build upon the legacy in my own way. Following a sojourn at the badly damaged, yet still vibey chambered cairn sited magnificently upon the shore of Loch Borralan - under the ever watchful gaze of the peerless profile of Suilven - I guess I'm pretty chuffed, to be fair. Ready for bed, even if my nightly abode is the back of the new(ish) Focus estate replacing the much lamented Rover. However the aforementioned map depicts another chambered cairn located upon the steep hillside rising above and to the right of the house looming behind. Guess I'll take a quick look whilst I'm here.

The ground is churned to oblivion, I assume by the local bovines.... probably not much left, then? Er, there is.... Girdled by an electric fence stands a rather high, rather scruffy grassy/stony mound. I clamber up and stand, gobsmacked, looking down into a polygonal chamber seeming lacking only roof. Sure, the passageway is blocked with a chaotic jumble of large stones, but.... hey, I do declare what we have here is more or less the equivalent of Skye's wondrous Rubh an Dunain. Only without the 8 mile walk. I descend within the chamber, collapse in an overwhelmed heap and savour the moment, the atmosphere so thick with the metaphysical suggestions of millennia past that it would require the allegorical chainsaw rather than the proverbial knife to make any impact. Impressive orthostats form the chamber flanks, drystone walling filling in the gaps, and the springings of a corbelled roof stand where they ought to be, if I'm not very much mistaken. I assume the chamber has been consolidated at some point since traces of that matting material are evident between the stonework. If so, nice work.

I could stay for hours but unfortunately this can only be a relatively short visit... it is nearing 9.00. I poke my head above the chamber wall and note the fisherman I spied standing within the calm waters of the loch earlier returning to shore. Guess I need to do likewise and duly return back down to earth.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
6th June 2013ce
Edited 8th June 2013ce

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Loch Borralan East Excavation Images


Set of images showing excavation of this excellent monument under auspices of the "Life and Death in Assynt's Past" project...
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
11th January 2015ce
Edited 11th January 2015ce