Corrimony Chambered Cairn

Highland, United Kingdom

Built some 4,000 years ago, Corrimony Cairn is a passage grave of the Clava type. Built by neolithic farmers, skilled in working stone, they were the first people to domesticate animals, till the land and clear the forests for farming, their society was cooperative.

Corrimony Chambered Cairn was built for collective burials, the beliefs of the builders remain unknown, it is believed these people existed from 3,500BC to 1,500Bc. Each group had their own collective tomb, built with the help of other groups in the area, with feasts and gifts being given to the helpers.

The astronomical alignment and orientation (the entrance passage is orientated towards the south west), has led people to suggest that the builders of Corrimony Chambered Cairn believed in the migration of the souls of the dead to the stars.

There is eveidence in some tombs that the bodies were prepared for the journey, with the bodies being dimembered, ceramic vessels shattered and animal bones indicate food offerings. Fires were then lit so the tomb acted as a crematorium.

Pieces of the original capstone, decorated with cup-mark designs, are still to be seen on top of the cairn. For a monument built four thousand years ago, Corrimony Chambered Cairnis remarkably well preserved, the best example in the region. Corrimony-cairn5.jpgIt was excavated in 1952, in the centre of the cairn there was only a dark stain visible evidence that any remains had deteriorated in the acid soil.

There are 12 standing stones surrounding Corrimony Cairn, is suspected that some of these may have been added since the building of the original cairn.

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User Reviews

Epic gamerZ (PrimateMC) (2 years ago)
As old as the Pyramids. Fair impressed!
Mike Clayton (2 years ago)
Easy access and an amazing structure, if you you enjoy visiting ancient sites.
Florence Taylor Jones (2 years ago)
Lovely peaceful place
William Winter (2 years ago)
Peaceful, but beware of the midges guarding the place
Gareth Jones (2 years ago)
It's old. The site is quiet and peaceful.
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The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

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In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.