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Clava Cairn

<b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Nearest Town:Grantown-On-Spey (17km NE)
OS Ref (GB):   NH909167 / Sheet: 36
Latitude:57° 13' 40.97" N
Longitude:   3° 48' 26.33" W

Added by greywether

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<b>Avielochan</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by greywether <b>Avielochan</b>Posted by greywether


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If you could join Avielochan and Granish together there would almost be a complete Clava Cairn. Like Granish it is a superb site surrounded by beautiful scenery.

We approached from the south from Granish taking the first road east on the A95. Take the twisty track past the houses and wee loch (called Avie Lochan) until a sharp corner. Look north into a field with what looks like a long cairn to find the cairn nestled amongst the trees.

Visited 31/7/2016.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
24th August 2016ce

Loved it here... such an unassuming monument, yet nonetheless utterly beguiling, set upon a natural, grassy knoll beneath a canopy of trees, the latter helping to diffuse the trademark Cairngorm downpour. However, unlike that much more (in)famous grassy knoll far to the west, there is no conspiracy here. Just an overwhelming aura of peace, quiet, calm..... which is pretty unexpected, considering the site is within sight of the busy A95 and the parallel A9.

Although there is, sadly, now no sign of a surrounding stone circle, Avielochan is a Clava-style passage grave, retaining a pretty substantial kerb and classic, well defined 'womb' chamber within. Nice. Thanks to the landowner - open gate, no barbed-wire fence - I've rarely encountered a more welcoming ancient site. The visitor, lying within, feels as safe and secure as.... well, a baby in its mother's womb. Fancy that? Almost caught myself sucking my thumb, so I did.

The clava cairn name-checks the nearby loch, a fine stretch of water notable for being a favourite with, appropriately enough, water birds. Holiday homes upon the shoreline allow 'twitchers' to keep watch without leaving their armchairs. As a result parking is (probably) iffy, assuming the 'no unauthorised vehicles' sign at the A95 entrance to the estate is anything to go by. Consequently I would recommend parking in said layby and walking. Upon approaching a footbridge over a railway line (after walking alongside the northern shore line of the loch) look for what appears to be a long barrow within the field to your left, tucked up beside the track. It's not, of course, but none the worse for that. According to Canmore records (A S Henshall 1963; C G Cash 1910) there was 'another smaller and much robbed cairn about 36ft to the SW on an extension of the knoll; about 24ft in diameter with a few low kerbstones projecting through the roof'. Unfortunately I wasn't aware of this addition at the time....

Note that there are the remains of a hillfort upon Tor Beag, a rocky promontory rising beyond the aforementioned roads to the approx north-west.
4th July 2011ce
Edited 4th July 2011ce

A well preserved Clava passage grave which can be a bit overgrown in summer.

The chamber and passage were left open after the 1909 excavation and are still very clear. There are no surviving circle stones.

Turn E off the A95 at NH87991680 and park at the end of the houses. Continue along the track to just before the railway bridge. The site is on your left amongst trees. One gate, which was open on this visit.

greywether Posted by greywether
13th June 2005ce


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This could be said to be hearsay really about something that happened at some indeterminate point - but it could well be true.
Near Aviemore [...] there are two stone circles. One is two miles and a half from the station, at the edge of a small loch called Loch nar Carraigean in the Ordnance Survey Map. The other is a half mile from the station, near a cluster of small farms called Milton. I was told that a good many of the large stones which had stood at intervals, forming the outer ring of these circles, had been removed a good many years ago, to be used in the building of Aviemore House.
From a letter on p360 of Archaeological Review v4, 1889-1890.

(so this refers to this site and Aviemore.)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
31st August 2009ce
Edited 31st August 2009ce


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Stones of Wonder

An astronomical view.
greywether Posted by greywether
30th March 2004ce