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Clava Cairns, Culloden Moor

4.7
#10 of 77 in Historic Sites in Scottish Highlands
Ruin · Hidden Gem · Landmark
The Clava cairn is a type of Bronze Age circular chamber tomb cairn, named after the group of three cairns at Balnuaran of Clava, to the east of Inverness in Scotland. There are about 50 cairns of this type in an area round about Inverness. They fall into two sub-types, one typically consisting of a corbelled passage grave with a single burial chamber linked to the entrance by a short passage and covered with a cairn of stones, with the entrances oriented south west towards midwinter sunset. In the other sub-type an annular ring cairn encloses an apparently unroofed area with no formal means of access from the outside. In both sub-types a stone circle surrounds the whole tomb and a kerb often runs around the cairn. The heights of the standing stones vary in height so that the tallest fringe the entrance (oriented south west) and the shortest are directly opposite it.

Where Clava-type tombs have still contained burial remains, only one or two bodies appear to have been buried in each, and the lack of access to the second sub-type suggests that there was no intention of re-visiting the dead or communally adding future burials as had been the case with Neolithic cairn tombs.

Use our Culloden Moor driving holiday site to visit Clava Cairns on your trip to Culloden Moor, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Clava Cairns reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
685 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I took an early bus from Inverness then walked from the main road to Clava Cairns in the peaceful early morning, nodding to the sheep and cows along the way. It's a nice walk and you'll see the Nairn....  more »
  • Clava cairns was one stop of many on the tour that I did. It felt like you were stepping back in time. It felt like a peaceful spot.  more »
Google
  • By far one of the most interesting sites I have visited in Scotland. Very beautiful place with a mystic charm. Amazing
  • As a Outlander Fan it was very special to be able to visit this place. I felt a calm, mystical feeling walking around here. An experience I will always remember.

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