The Cairns in Cromar, Aberdeenshire

Alexander Ogston (Author)

Giant Cairns, Heather, Cairns
1771, 1757, Roman


A total of 1947 have been counted in Cromar and it is likely that many more have been overlooked in the extensive tracts of broom and heather. Three distinct types are classified as small, large, and giant cairns. The small cairns are mostly circular in shape, with diameters varying from 10 feet upwards, and are all bun-shaped, with a height of from 1 to 2 feet. It is not uncommon to find three, four, or five of them so placed as to be in a straight line with one another, suggesting that they were intentionally thus arranged. The cairns which we distinguish as large are also circular in shape, are about 4 or 5 feet in height and have a diameter of some 40 feet. They are generally flattened on the top and are never grouped together. The giant cairns form a separate class and have their special\r\npeculiarities. Their diameters are very large, from, say, 70 to 100 feet; the height is also greater, being from 10 to 12 feet; their form is that of a pointed cone, not truncated like the large cairns.


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How to Cite
Ogston, A. (1919). The Cairns in Cromar, Aberdeenshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 53, 175–179.