Cairn: OS Grid Reference – NN 7837 0037
From Dunblane Cathedral walk straight down town along High Street, but where the road bends to cross the river, keep to your left and onto the dual carriageway. Walk straight across and along the “private” drive that leads to Kippencross House. The first 100 yards is wooded either side of you, but when you come out into the grassy open, walk on for another 100 yards or so, keeping your eyes peeled for the rise in the grassland on your right, topped with a clump of trees. This is the cairn!
Archaeology & History
This is a lovely site, perched near the crown of a small hillock, surmounted with a crown of pinus trees that would have delighted Alfred Watkins and his ley-hunters. It is a veritable faerie mound, seemingly alone amidst this modernised but well-kept gardenscape. The large tomb sits upon a small rise in the land here, where the grasslands fall to its west and northern sides with some obvious deliberation.
The cairn doesn’t appear to have been excavated (but I don’t have my library to hand, so could be wrong – I’ll check when I get back home) and though there’s a distinct impression of cup-marked stones close by, we couldn’t find owt in our brief bimble here. The tomb measures about 20 yards across, and rises perhaps six feet or more above the ground level. Although a little overgrown with summer herbage (mainly Urtica and friends), quite a few small stones were visible close to the surface on different parts of the mound, looking like typical cairn material; though around its mainly southern edge is a line of larger kerb stones showing the outline of what would seem to be the edge of the monument.
The cairn is definitely worth having a look at if you’re in the area. It’s certainly a beautiful little spot to sit for a while…
- Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments Scotland, Stirling – volume 1, HMSO: Edinburgh 1963.
- Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Stirling District, Central Region, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 1979.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian