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Macbeth's Cairn


<b>Macbeth's Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoyImage © drew/amj
Nearest Town:Banchory (15km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   NJ578053 / Sheet: 37
Latitude:57° 8' 12.09" N
Longitude:   2° 41' 50.31" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Macbeth's Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Macbeth's Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Macbeth's Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Macbeth's Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Macbeth's Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Macbeth's Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Macbeth's Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy


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After reading a book about the real story of Macbeth, instead of William Shakespeare's portrayal (surely the Mel Gibson of his day concerning Scottish history) I decided it was time to find this cairn. (Rhiannon's folklore giving an also necessary prod)

The cairn is situated 1 mile north west of the village of Lumphanan (good pub) fairly clos to the A980. Pull in at the first track on the north side side of the road. I asked permission to park, so everybody was happy.

Immediately behind the farmhouse, a fairly steepish climb of 500 meters, on Perkhill lies the bronze age cairn with tremendous views up and down the valley. Poor Macbeths body was taken here after being defeated and beheaded by Macduff. At least he had a nice spot to rest. The cairn is 13 meters wide and 3/4s of a meter high. A kerb surrounds most of the site, with a large slab/boulder being a possible cist.

(On the way to cairn a sheepdog and lamb befriended me on my way. The lamb obviously supports Rangers :-( as it seemed to try to trip me up every now and again. On this form the lamb would get in their team now.)

This is an area steeped in history so plenty for the visitor to see and do in this, one of the most scenic parts of Aberdeenshire.

Visited 8/07/2010.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th July 2010ce
Edited 8th July 2010ce


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It is generally said by historians, notwithstanding [another tradition] existing in Perthshire, that Macbeth was killed at Lumphanan in this county. About a mile northward from the parish church, on the brow of a hill, is a heap of stones, called Macbeth's Cairn. It is forty yards in circumference, and rises in the middle to a considerable height. On the same hill are several smaller cairns.

It is said that Macbeth, flying from the south, had only a few attendants when he reached Lumphanan; that he endeavoured to conceal himself at a place called Cairnbaddy; but finding that impracticable, he continued his route northward for about a mile, till Macduff, outriding his company, overtook him on the spot where the cairn is placed, killed him in single combat, and brought back his head to his men.
p425 of The Beauties of Scotland, by Robert Forsyth. v4 (1806). Online at Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th June 2007ce