Culloden Moor

Clava Cairns

Clava cairns or Balnuaran of ClavaClava cairns are located a short distance South East of the Culloden battlefield.Leave Culloden battlefield and head East for less than half a mile. When you come to the crossroads with the Culloden moor Inn on your right, turn right. Go straight on at the next crossroads down past Leannach farm and over the bridge that spans the river Nairn. As you approach Clava lodge turn right and you will find the car park to the cairn on your right.At Baluaran of Clava there are three cairns. Two of the cairns are known as passage cairns and the centre cairn is known as a ringed cairn. As the name suggest the two outer cairns have a passage that links the outside as in the photograph. The central ringed cairn has no passage which would suggest that once built and `used` it would have been sealed with no intention of re-entering the cairn. In comparison the other 2 cairns would suggest that the cairn may have been entered many times after the dead had been placed.

All the cairns are surrounded by a ring of standing stones although some now stand outside the general area and one is seperated by the road.

The cairns at Clava have lent their name to an approximate number of around forty five to fifty of these type of cairns that are all around the Inverness and Nairn area. There are several more that lie along the area of the river Nairn and throughout the Nairn valley.The cairns are great to visit at any time of the year as they are some of the best of their type and the location is beautiful. It sits low in the Nairn valley and is in a peaceful spot that is shrouded in trees. The sunrises over the hill behind the viaduct so early mornings in winter or spring are great but if you visit on the winter solstice on December the 22nd, the setting sun aligns with the passageways of the two passage cairns.Clava cairns is thought to date to either early neolithic times or possibly even late bronze age. This dates back nearly 4000 years. The Clava cairns are considered to be some of the best examples of these type of cairns.Have a look at this video of the cairns by Alan Hogan. Thanks to Alan for his contribution. See more from Alan HERE.

For more information have a look at Historic Scotland`s site.