History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: One of the best preserved prehistoric sites in Scotland.
Clava was built in two stages. The first stage began around 2000 BCE when a row of burial cairns was constructed - a form of linear cemetery. Three of these early cairns can still be seen, though there were probably two more.
Around 1000 BCE the cemetery was reused, with some new burials inserted in the existing cairns and three new monuments constructed, including the kerb cairn. Another, smaller cemetery can be found at Milton of Clava, just to the west.
No trace of any actual burial has been found in any of the Clava cairns, though it seems safe to assume from similar monuments that there was at least one body buried in the centre of each cairn.
It seems likely that there was a settlement here before the cemetery was built, and that some of the settlement stones were incorporated into the burial cairns. An archaeological survey in the 1990s noted possible alignment of the Clava monuments with the position of the setting and rising sun.
Clava is in the care of Historic Scotland, and open at any reasonable time. It is amazing to think how many tourists flock to see Culloden Battlefield each year, yet how many make the short journey to see these wonderfully atmospheric remains at Clava?
About Clava Cairns
Address: Newlands, Highlands, Scotland
Attraction Type: Prehistoric Site
Location: 6 miles east of Inverness, off the B9091, 300 yards east of Culloden Battlefield
Website: Clava Cairns
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Culloden Battlefield - 0.8 miles (Museum)
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery - 5.4 miles (Museum)
Knocknagael Boar Stone - 5.6 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Cawdor Castle - 7 miles (Castle)
Fortrose Cathedral - 8 miles (Cathedral)
Fort George - 8 miles (Historic Building)
Groam House Museum - 8.6 miles (Museum)
Dochfour House & Gardens - 9.6 miles (Garden)
Nearest Accommodation to Clava Cairns:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Clava Cairns. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts