The Clava cairn is a type of Bronze Age circular chamber tomb cairn, named after the group of 3 cairns at Balnuaran of Clava, to the east of Inverness. There are about 50 cairns of this type in an area round about Inverness.

At Balnuaran of Clava itself there is a group of three Bronze Age cairns which lie close together in a line running north east to south west. The tombs at either end are of the passage grave sub-type. The central cairn is of the ring cairn sub-type, and uniquely has stone paths or causeways forming 'rays' radiating out from the platform round the kerbs to three of the standing stones. The cairns incorporate cup and ring mark stones, carved before they were built into the structures. The kerb stones are graded in size and selected for colour, so that the stones are larger and redder to the south west, and smaller and whiter to the north east. All these elements seem to have been constructed as one operation and indicate a complex design rather than ad hoc additions.

The ring round the northern Balnuaran of Clava cairn was measured and analysed by Professor Alexander Thom. He found that the ring was slightly egg-shaped with a complex geometry of circles and ellipses which could be set out around a central triangle, using sizes which are close to whole multiples of what he called the Megalithic yard. While the geometry of the shape is generally accepted, the Megalithic Yard is more controversial.



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User Reviews

Omkar Desai (8 months ago)
Awesome and beautiful place to visit. If you are an Outlander TV series fan, this is the point for you. There are no words to describe the scenery here. It's just simply jaw-dropping.
JSG HV (9 months ago)
Very interesting sight to visit. No tickets needed. Spend an hour there to look at the stones and try understand what these meant, what their purpose was. Really amazing is the stone that has been split in half by a lightning as well as the planets carved into one of the stones.
Bára Olšáková (10 months ago)
Nice place, accessible even on bikes (though the hill back up is a bit sharp). The Stones have a short info about them written near. A really beautiful scenery, with a cool bridge near by. Entrance is free :)
Sam March (11 months ago)
Really cool to see the ruins of these tombs. The information boards were good, although each one seemed to be surrounded by a huge puddle. Would recommend to the history enthusiasts.
Michael Bryant (11 months ago)
A very Interesting little site! Glad to see so much of it is preserved too! Definitely a must visit if you are up visiting Culloden as its just along the road. Plenty parking and a small picnic area too.
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