Inverness in Inverness-shire,, Scotland, United Kingdom
Balnuaran of Clava
a prehistoric cemetery
—Clava Cairns —
The monuments here were built between three and four thousand years ago.
The oldest are a circular walled enclosure - the central 'ring cairn' and two 'passage graves.' The latest was a ring of boulders that enclosed a grave, the 'kerb cairn.' Such Bronze Age monuments are a feature of the inner Moray Firth and as these are the best preserved examples, they are known as 'Clava cairns.'
Recent excavations and research here have revealed a startling new complexity to the construction of these cairns.
Our attention has been drawn to the characteristics of the architecture. These reflect the esteem in which the builders held the light of the sun and the colour, shape and texture of stones. It was discovered that each tomb was short lived and may have housed very few bodies - possibly only one - and that these were not accompanied by any offerings that survive today. As a tomb went out of use it was surrounded by a ring of standing stones. In around 1,000 BC the cemetery was reused and further monuments were constructed.
What you are able to see now was originally part of a much larger cemetery which extended eastwards towards the Nairn Viaduct (behind you).
In the 1870's the monuments were interpreted as druids' temples and, in keeping with Victorian romanticism, the owner
You can visit another 'Clava cairn' at Corrimony, to the west of Loch Ness, and the contemporary cemetery at Kilmartin in Argyll. A leaflet to accompany your visit is available from Fort George or can be downloaded from www.historic-scotland.govuk.
The distribution of passage graves and ring cairns in northern Scotland.
Erected by Historic Scotland.
Location. 57° 28.402′ N, 4° 4.339′ W. Marker is in Inverness, Scotland, in Inverness-shire,. Marker is on National Cycle Rte 7. Click for map.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 2 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Culloden Battlefield (approx. 1.7 kilometers away).
Also see . . . Clava Cairns. Historic Scotland's visitor guide to the Clava Cairns. (Submitted on December 20, 2015.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 167 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.