British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns

Some ways east of Inverness are three circular chambered cairns of an unusual type, each surrounded by a stone kerb and a ring of standing stones. While the passages of most chambered tombs in Scotland face basically east or south east, those at Clava face south west towards the winter solstice.

Although archaeological evidence dates them to circa 3,000 bce, tradition has legends attached to them for a later period. They have been said to mark the burial place of the family of the 6th century Pictish King Brude. This theory may have been inspired by the digging up of a gold rod during some drainage operations near the site. It is also perhaps likely that the associated comes from the fact that King Brude's castle is said to have been at nearby Craig Phadrig.