The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Cadha Riach

Chambered Cairn


Guess this is best described as the 'fragmentary' remains of a chambered cairn? It's certainly not going to overawe a visitor in the manner of the overwhelming monuments to be found at Kensaleyre or Liveras. Oh no. Why, its Neolithic constructors even saw fit - as I should have expected, in retrospect - to deny the visitor the benefit of the fine coastal views anticipated from such a cliff-top site upon the eastern flank of Trotternish. Not that the family of cows which call Cadha Riach 'home' seem to mind? Big bovine momma eyes me suspiciously for a microsecond before clearly deciding I'm no threat to her offspring. Yeah, I can live with that. Although it might have been a different story if it had have been big daddy bull.

Having said the above, the landward vista, looking toward the Trotternish Ridge and... in particular... the wondrous rock formations (and hillforts!) of The Quiraing, is pretty special. Once the morning cloud cover magically begins to peel away, that is. In fact the vibe 'speaks' so loudly I realise I now have no choice but to abandon my afternoon 'schedule' and climb the latter natural wonder next. Jeez. Surely there are less tiring hobbies?

Cadha Riach is perhaps best reached by parking near 'The Community & International Leadership Centre' (ahem) in Staffin. A path leads to the latter's right, uphill toward the coast, crossing a drystone wall by way of a very impressive 'stile'. The denuded chambered cairn, albeit still possessing chamber orthostats, sits a little way back from the cliff edge. As usual I found it a little difficult to spot at first, but eventually did so by orientating myself upon the line of the slipway below and following that back. Ta dah! Note also the large round cairn of Carn Ban overlooking the southern flank of Staffin Bay to the approx north-west [Update... apparently Carn Ban represents the remains of a broch. Sorry about that]. However I've made my choice. Quiraing, my lord?
3rd July 2012ce
Edited 2nd September 2012ce

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