The Clava Cairns are a surreal and haunting place to visit, walking into the graves at Balnuaran of Clava gives you a feeling of peace, serenity and foreboding, especially if you visit in the dead of winter when we did. It also has that spiritual feeling, that feeling you get when you know you’ve arrived at a special place.
Balnuaran of Clava or commonaly known as the Clava Cairns can be found a mile or so south of the Culloden battlefield and is often missed by the many who visit the battlefield. A pity really because it is a treat indeed and a place to rest and contemplate the bloody slaughter which you just realised had happened at Culloden field a wee bit up the road. You can imagine the Injured and dying soldiers who escaped the “bayoneting of the wounded” reaching Clava and deciding to rest there and wait for the end to come in the peaceful surroundings of the revered ancient stones.
When you reach the cairn at the south east end of the area, i was saddened to see that many years ago the road builders had obviously cut a new road right through the very corner of the site and had put the road between a few standing stones and the cairn itself. Fortunately it wasn’t distroyed, but a few standing stones were moved slightly out of alignment to protect them from further damage, see the picture below.
You can find Balnuaran of Clava here –
The site is in the care of Historic Scotland –
You will find more detailed historical information in the link below –
Finally, there are many stories and tales of Balnuaran of Clava with the many added superstitions, Locals will tell not to visit at night-time. Even a Belgian tourist who stole a stone from Clava was convinced he had suffered the Curse of Clava.. he eventually returned a stone he stole… you can read his story here –