Corrimony Chambered Cairn

Corrimony Chambered Cairn

One of the most interesting places my cousin, Kathy, and I visited September, 2013 while in Scotland was the Corrimony Chambered Cairn. It is a well-preserved cairn of the Neolithic age.

Depiction of the Burial Cairn

Built some 4,000 years ago, Corrimony Cairn is a passage grave of the Clava type dating from the 3rd Millennium BC.

Kathy in the Chamber

Built by Neolithic farmers, skilled in working stone, they were the first people to domesticate animals, till the land, and clear the forests for farming. Their society was cooperative.

Corrimony Chambered Cairn was built for collective burials. The beliefs of the builders remain unknown; however, it is believed these people existed from 3,500 BC to 1,500 BC. Each group had their own collective tomb, built with the help of other groups in the area, with feasts and gifts being given to the helpers.

The Passage

The astronomical alignment and orientation (the entrance passage is orientated towards the south-west), has led people to suggest that the builders of Corrimony Chambered Cairn believed in the migration of the souls of the dead to the stars.

There is evidence in some tombs that the bodies were prepared for the journey, with the bodies being dismembered. Shattered ceramic vessels and animal bones indicate food offerings. Fires were then lit so the tomb acted as a crematorium.

The Capstone

Pieces of the original capstone, decorated with cup-mark designs, are still to be seen on top of the cairn.  For a monument built four thousand years ago, Corrimony Chambered Cairn is remarkably well-preserved, the best example in the region. It was excavated in 1952. In the center of the cairn there was only a dark stain visible evidence that any remains had deteriorated in the acid soil.

Standing Stones

There are twelve standing stones surrounding Corrimony Cairn; however, some of these may have been added since the building of the original cairn.

Standing Stone

Standing Stone


Standing Stones






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