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Clava Cairns, Scotland: Stone Circles and a Mysterious Portal into the Previous

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Solely six miles east of Inverness and 1.5 Miles (2.4km) away from Culloden Battlefield lies a website that’s each stunning and mysterious. Clava Cairns is a major assortment of standings stones and stone circles that was as soon as used as a gravesite.

To at the present time their origin and historical past stay to be absolutely understood.

Clava Cairns Scotland Pin

Positioned in a leafy discipline within the deep highlands, Clava Cairns channels the aura of an extra-spiritual Stonehenge.

When the sunshine from the setting solar illuminates the perfectly-aligned stones, it’s not tough in any respect to ascertain the positioning as a portal into one other time.

What’s Clava Cairns all about?


clava cairns stone circle

Clava Cairns is comprised of a well-preserved group of prehistoric burial cairns (mounds of tough stones usually constructed as a memorial or landmark) that have been constructed about four,000 years in the past.

Being a Bronze Age cemetery, the positioning consists of a wide range of passage graves, eerie stone circles that embody the graves, giant standing stones, and the stays of a chapel—all in a beautiful, lush setting amid elm bushes and gently rolling hills.

Surprisingly, these cairns are the one ones in mainland Britain which are surrounded by stone circles.

Clava Cairns Scotland Ruins

As complicated as the positioning could also be, little remains to be recognized about Clava Cairns’ origins; over-excavation has broken the cairns to a point, and so nobody is aware of who in actual fact was buried there, nor concerning the types of people that have been concerned in its building.

There may be, nonetheless, proof that every cairn contained not more than two burials, and that numerous effort went into establishing the cemetery (which presumably hints at a connection to these of energy and wealth).

Regardless of the case, Clava Cairns stays a captivating vacation spot no matter whether or not or not you’re desirous about archeology; it has a sure aura to it.

Maybe as a result of its historical past remains to be shrouded in thriller—one which begs you to query the lives of Scottish ancestors and to understand the just about ethereal great thing about the positioning.

Historical past of Clava Cairns


It’s mentioned that the primary row of Cairns was constructed round 2000 BC, and excavations started in 1828 CE and continued by means of the 1990s CE.

These excavations, remarkably, have confirmed that the positioning was repeatedly used for greater than a thousand years after its unique building.

Numerous cairns and monuments have been constructed alongside the best way, together with a chapel, whose date of origin stays unknown.

What is Clava Cairns

Although stretching again even additional by means of historical past, there’s proof that the positioning could have been used for farming lengthy earlier than any of the cairns have been even constructed.

There may be hypothesis that there might need even been a settlement on the positioning, and materials from these properties have been fairly presumably used to construct among the cairns.

What’s fascinating to notice is that regardless of all of the mystique surrounding the cairns, whoever constructed them clearly did so with astronomy in thoughts.

Symbols regarding the solar and moon are depicted on the stones, pointing in the direction of its attainable use as an astronomical observatory and a seasonal calendar along with a burial floor.

Right this moment, although a lot of the unique stays are seen to guests, there’s but to come up a definitive understanding of precisely what their use could have been.

What to anticipate when Visiting Clava Cairns


cairns scotland

There are two sections to Clava Cairns—Balnauran of Clava, and Milton of Clava.

Each are absolutely accessible to guests.

The primary part, Balnauran of Clava, consists of three giant burial cairns which are every surrounded by a stone circle.

Two out of the three cairns right here have slender passageways that guests can enter to entry the central burial chamber.

Between these cairns lies a ‘kerb cairn’ (a really small ring of huge stones with a filled-in heart) with an enclosed central burial chamber.

Clava Cairns description

When you look intently, you’ll have the ability to see cup and ring markings alongside the stones right here along with suns and moons.

The second part of the positioning is smaller, Milton of Clava, and rests in a discipline adjoining to the principle part.

Milton of Clava consists of a single standing stone, one cairn, and the ruins of a medieval chapel that was constructed lengthy after the cairns have been.

Although there isn’t any guided tour obtainable, there are data boards all through the positioning, in addition to guides obtainable to reply any questions that guests might need.

Ideas for visiting Clava Cairns


Clava Cairns near Inverness Scotland

Clava Cairns is free to go to and is definitely reached by automotive. There is a parking zone on the entrance and that too is free.

Clava Cairns makes for an incredible pairing with Culloden Battlefield due to their shut proximity.

Although Clava positively has extra of sunshine, magical ambiance than the battlefield, so it’s finest to go away it for final.

Probably the most unimaginable issues about Clava Cairns is the truth that its stones are aligned completely with the wintertime setting solar. Because of this, it’s finest to go to throughout winter.

The location additionally takes on a very otherworldly appeal at the moment of 12 months, too. And naturally, a wintertime go to additionally means fewer vacationers.

There’s so much to take pleasure in at Clava, and also you may be tempted to snag one of many many unfastened rocks scattered on the bottom earlier than you go—however watch out!

Rumor has it that the ‘curse of the cairns’ is bestowed upon anybody who does so.

So in case you’re not within the temper for years of dangerous luck, go away the stones be.

Clava Cairns Scotland Outlander

And in case you’re within the temper for enjoyable info, it’s additionally price noting that Clava Cairns gained numerous recognition in 2014 after the American TV collection Outlander claimed that the inspiration for its fictional stone circle got here from the positioning!


Learn Extra:

Dunrobin Fortress – A Fantasy-Like Fortress in Northern Scotland

North Coast 500 – Final Information to Scotland’s Epic Drive

7 Loopy Adventures in Scotland

The place to Keep in Edinburgh

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