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

Dalnaneun Farm, Loch Nell

Chambered Cairn


How good are the substantial remains of this lovely chambered cairn, magnificently positioned upon gently sloping ground, overlooking the southern end of Loch Nell? Perhaps my viewpoint is coloured a little too much by this majestically cloudless evening. But what rich, vibrant colours they are!

Loch Nell is a veritable megarak's paradise, not only bearing two, clearly identifiable crannogs - those mysterious artificial islands cloaked in folklore when not in opaque vapour - but also, if I am to believe my eyes, a monument bearing comparison, albeit on a much smaller scale, to the great 'serpent mounds' of the USA. Can't be, surely? Not here.

However it is this deceptively large chambered cairn, set not far from Dalineun Farm and shining like a beacon in the evening light, which is the the most obvious prehistoric monument in the locality. OK, the cairn itself is denuded, but the squat orthostats, supporting a large, attractive capstone render the chamber with an aura of subdued, understated power reminiscent, perhaps, of Lligwy in Anglesey. Unlike Lligwy, however, the chamber is too low for me to enter. But with a north-eastern aspect such as this, the only proper place to be is upon the capstone, surely?

The capstone is just about visible from the loch-side road and barbed wire fence. The obvious parking space was unfortunately occupied by some bull-necked muppet who appeared to take umbrage at the sight of my shades/beard/foreign legion hat ensemble. Perhaps he was a fashion designer? Sorry mate, I'm beyond help in that department. I therefore asked a bloke mowing grass beside nearby buildings, who was only too happy to calm any misgivings I had of parking in an official 'passing space' and bunking the barbed wire. 'Don't forget the Serpent Mound, too', says he. I check the map. I had. Thanks to him, I didn't.

The shadows grow longer and I really must go. But not before a quick visit to the Serpent Mound to the north.
12th June 2010ce
Edited 26th June 2010ce

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