MHG54934 - Possible Clava cairn, Mains of Clava North-West


The suggested site of a robbed out cairn with surrounding stone circle in the style of the nearby cairns at Balnuaran of Clava. The results of a geophysical survey in the 1990s show possible evidence for such a cairn.

Type and Period (2)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH74SE 5 7594 4461.

(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 of 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>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NH 7596 4462 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH74SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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