Long Cairn: OS Grid Reference – NN 7617 0671
Also Known as:
- Bracklin Burn
- Canmore ID 73465
Take the B8033 north out of Dunblane and, immediately out the other side of Kinbuck, as you cross the river, take the first track on your left to Cromlix. Keep right along here to Cullings and beyond, till you reach the edge of the forestry plantation. Go left instead of going into the trees and, instead, follow the edge of the woodland for about 750 yards. You’ll see the land rise up on the other side of the stream and the huge length of stones thereby. That’s it!
Archaeology & History
Not included in any major archaeology tomes, this giant long prehistoric pile of rocks—probably constructed in neolithic times—sits along the edge of a natural ridge, out of sight of all but the lone wanderer and the birds. Aligned ESE to WNW, this huge monument measures more than 61 yards (56m) in length and is 12 yards across at its present widest section. Much of the tomb has been severely robbed for stone in making the local walling: two of which emerge out of the structure itself—one running directly downhill from its larger eastern edge, and a more extensive wide line of walling running west and northwest for quite some distance. This western section of walling has the hallmarks of being constructed as far back as the Iron Age, which may be when the initial destruction of the chambered cairn first started. But, until we get an excavation here, we won’t know for sure.
The next closest tomb of any great size is the Judge’s Cairn, 1½ miles (2.4km) to the southwest. Clusters of smaller single cairns exist about nearly a mile northwest, with prehistoric settlement traces accompanying them—but nothing seems in immediate attendance to this Cromlix giant.
Other sites, obviously, await discovery in this area. We know that a spring of water roughly 50 yards east of here was used by so-called ‘witches’ in earlier centuries, for both healing and sympathetic magick. Whether this tradition ever had any relationship with the cairn is difficult to say.
- Royal Commission Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Braes of Doune: An Archaeological Survey, Edinburgh 1994.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian