MHG3010 - Standing stone - Mains of Clava North-West


A standing stone which may have formed part of a ring of upright stones surrounding a possible cairn that may have lain to the north-east.

Type and Period (1)

  • STANDING STONE (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 1501 BC?)

Protected Status

Full Description

A standing stone which may have formed part of a ring of upright stones surrounding a possible cairn that may have lain to the north-east.

It was Scheduled as part of the Calva Cairns group in 1882.

(NH 7594 4461) Stone Circle (NR) (Remains of)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1906)

This possible Clava-type cairn (Henshall 1963), in the Clava cemetery group, in the centre of a flat field beside the River Nairn, is now completely removed except for a single standing stone, 6'6" high. It was in this state when listed by Fraser (1884) as the remains of a stone circle.
J Fraser 1884; A S Henshall 1963.

As described.
Visited by OS (W D J) 25 April 1962.

There are no remains of a stone circle or cairn at the site, which is overgrown by whin and gorse bushed. There is no local knowledge of a cairn even existing here.
Published survey (25") revised.
Visited by OS (NKB) 13 August 1964

A geophysical survey conducted in the 1990s as part of a wider research project identified a distinct arc of low resistance enclosing a peak of higher values, which could possibly represent the position of a levelled cairn. The dimensions of the anomaly, approximately 20m diameter, are consistent with the nearly passage graves and the distance of the standing stone from the centre of the possible cairn, 17.5m, is also comparable with the nearby monuments. One possible interpretation of the results is that the major anomaly may mark the position of a substantial core-cairn with the halo of lower values resulting from the removal of the kerbstones. This would be consistent with the farmer's observation that, after ploughing, this part fo the site was marked by a circular area of rubble (F Johnston pers comm).
Richard Bradley tentatively suggests that this may have formed part of a first phase of the cemetery at Balnuaran which may have consisted of as many as five cairns in a line along the centre of the gravel ridge. <1>

The stone was still included with the Clava cairns Scheduled area when the monuments were re-scheduled by Historic Environment Scotland in 2016. <2> <3>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference NH 7594 4461 (point) Approximate
Map sheet NH74SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

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