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Memsie Burial Cairn

Round Cairn

<b>Memsie Burial Cairn</b>Posted by ChrisImage © Chris
Nearest Town:Fraserburgh (5km N)
OS Ref (GB):   NJ976620 / Sheet: 30
Latitude:57° 38' 52.78" N
Longitude:   2° 2' 24.77" W

Added by davidtic

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Visited 26.7.14

From Fraserburgh take the A981 south.
The cairn is on the B9032 (sign posted)

Another Historic Scotland site ticked off the list.
This cairn is a whopper – you can’t miss it!
Access is via a kissing gate and an information board is provided.

Memsie is a big old pile of stones and I am sure it gives the inhabitants of the nearby house something to talk about when looking out of their living room window! I didn't climb to the top as it felt uncomfoartable with the house so near.

What is perhaps best about a visit to Memsie is that it gives a good idea of how many of the now ruined cairns we visit must have looked when in their prime.
Posted by CARL
13th August 2014ce

Visited 17/5/09 - after seeing the Bucharn cairn (near Strachan) earlier in the week, the comparison with this one regarding atmosphere is 'chalk and cheese'.

Having said that, this is still well worth a visit if you are in the area since it is a simply gigantic cairn, apparently the sole survivor of three such examples in the vicinity. No fuss, no frills, but consider the effort required to construct it as you make your way to the summit. Truly mind blowing.

Sadly I also have to report that I was 'studied' with binoculars by an old muppet and friend from across the main road as I relaxed on top. I can only assume the old fools believed I was somehow interested in their lives, for whatever reason. How deluded can you be? So much so I couldn't even be bothered to go and have a word about their blatant lack of respect for others - this is an official Historic Scotland site, after all. Well, I had infinitely more important things to ponder at Memsie cairn......
21st June 2009ce
Edited 21st June 2009ce

These places are huge-after Cairnlee yesterday, this one has a better view, but still has a house about 3 inches away from it.

You may think its just a pile of stones, but this monster can be seen a mile off, and there's some beautiful quartz pieces scattered over the cairn.

Not worth a special visit perhaps, but if you're visiting the Buchan RSC's, its got to be worth a stop.
Chris Posted by Chris
8th October 2006ce

You can never predict how a site will make you feel. Memsie cairn is really quite simple to describe – a pile of stones. It has no entrance, no chamber to crawl into, no redeeming features other than it's a huge pile of grey stones. But I loved it! Simple pleasures, eh. Jane Posted by Jane
30th July 2006ce

There were once three cairns here, dating back to around 1700BCE. The remaining cairn is about 6m tall and 20m accross. Posted by davidtic
20th August 2003ce


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The tradition is, that the Danes having landed on the Buchan coast, and pillaging their way to Murray, then in possession of their countrymen, were come up with, at the place where now stand the cairns of Memsie in the parish of Rathen, by the Scotch army, and defeated, three of their leaders being slain, over whose buried bodies the 3 cairns were raised, on the very spot where each of them fell; that the Danes retreated, and were again overtaken and defeated at Coburty*, the cairn being raised over the graves of their slain; and that the remains of this Danish army were finally defeated and cut to pieces, on a heath about a quarter of a mile W. from the church of Gamery**, which still retains the name of the Bloody Pots [or pits]; in memory of which victory, the skulls of 3 of their slain leaders were built into the inside of the church wall, where two of them still remain, the other being consumed through length of time.
p579 of v12 of the Statistical Account (1797), by Sir John Sinclair.

*somewhere here: NJ 924 642, one assumes.

**The church (also called 'Kirk of Sculls' - though whose skulls is debatable) is "not a mile" from Gardenstown so maybe here: NJ 790 644. - from V1 of the Statistical account.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th October 2007ce
Edited 14th October 2007ce