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C.Garner and P.Wright

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Cairns of Clava

Balnuaran Cairns, August 9, 1997
Near Inverness, Highlands
Map Ref: NH 752 439
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[Highland Region]

These cairns are located along the east side of the River Nairn. There are three cairns in this group, two are passage burial cairns and the last is a ring type cairn. There is an approximate dating of 1500BC to 2000BC due to the loss of evidence over the years. The rocks have been taken for building material elsewhere and the burial chambers had not been properly excavated.

Clava Cairns : Northeast cairn

This is the Northeastern cairn. It is a passage cairn with 11 standing stones. This is the only square standing stone that we saw on the trip and it is positioned on the West. The stone ring is roughly 110 feet in diameter. The cairn itself is piled about 10 feet in height and 55 feet in diameter.


The Center cairn is a ring type cairn with entrance gained from the top. The outer stone circle is 100 feet wide. The cairn is piled 3 feet high and is 55 feet in diameter and the inner burial chamber is 12 feet.

Clava Cairns : Center cairn

The last is the Southwestern cairn. It is also a passage cairn with the outer stone circle at 100 feet in diameter. The circle has been broken by a road laid through it. The east side of the circle is missing at least one stone. There are only 11 stones in the circle. The cairn is 52 feet in diameter and the inner chamber is 12 feet in diameter. The cairn material is piled 7 feet high.

Clava Cairns : Southwest cairn