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Auchenlaich Cairn

Chambered Cairn

<b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by greywetherImage © greywether
Nearest Town:Callander (2km W)
OS Ref (GB):   NN649073 / Sheet: 57
Latitude:56° 14' 20.18" N
Longitude:   4° 10' 48.22" W

Added by winterjc


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<b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by BigSweetie <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by greywether <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by greywether <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by greywether <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by winterjc <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by winterjc <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by winterjc <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by winterjc <b>Auchenlaich Cairn</b>Posted by winterjc

Fieldnotes

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I can't resist a superlative!

"...at 342m, [this is] by far the longest chambered cairn in Britain ..." PSAS 132 p118

This enigmatic and unexcavated site has only in the last decade or so been interpreted as a chambered cairn. The higher and wider S end is seen as a Clyde cairn to which a long "tail" of a cairn has been added.

There is certainly a very clear chamber towards the S end and some partly visible stones at the extreme S end which could be part of another chamber.

It is, of course, the length which makes the site special and worth seeing - and comparisons have been made with the cursus monument tradition.

Aerial views can be seen on the Canmore website.

Access Easiest access is via the Keltie Caravan Site which is signposted just E of Callander.

Visited 13 January 2005
greywether Posted by greywether
21st January 2005ce
Edited 21st January 2005ce

16/02/02

I visited this site with no real idea of the scale of the place. Auchenlaich is the longest megalithic burial cairn in Britain.

Today, Auchenlaich Cairn consists of a ridge of grassed over stones which stretches for over 350 metres in a perfectly straight line, from a field adjacent to the Auchenlaich camping site and well into another field to the north. A farm track cuts right across the middle of the cairn. Auchenlaich runs in a NNW to SSE direction and sits in the flat valley of the Keltie Water, less than a mile east of the town of Callander.
The highlands rise from the central lowlands immediately to the north and west , with the mighty presence of Ben Ledi just a few miles to the west.

There is one burial chamber opened in the south section of the monument and there are also small piles of what looks like recently excavated stones along the south section.
It's hard to take in the sheer size of this place and almost as hard to get a good photo - the place is crying out to be photographed from the air.

There must have been so many burials and possibly cremations here, that a walk along this 350 metres must have been a linear journey of legend, pain and joy of life - a life shared with the spirits.
Posted by winterjc
20th February 2002ce

Miscellaneous

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The cairn at Auchenlaich, is thought to be a contemporary of a nearby homestead at Claish, 1.5km to the west, which is currently being excavated. Claish has been dated at 6000 years old and was a relatively huge and complex timber structure, 25m by 10m, thought to be capable of housing many families.

The nature of the homestead and the size and unique nature of Auchenlaich cairn, suggest that this area was a place of real power.
Posted by winterjc
20th February 2002ce

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'Claish, Stirling: an early Neolithic structure in its context', in Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. v132 (2002).

Page 114 of the article has a section by S M Foster and J B Stevenson on the "extraordinary monument" of the cairn.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st February 2014ce
Edited 21st February 2014ce