Fowlis Wester Cairn

Ordnance Survey Map Reference NN927233

The cairn looking south

The cairn looking north west

The remaining standing stone

Closer look

The west side of the cairn

Looking across the cairn


From the road, this cairn doesn't look like anything particularly special. But hop over the fence into the field, and it becomes much more interesting. There is one standing stone at the base of a large cairn, in amongst the trees. Walking around the cairn it becomes clear that it sits on a flattened platform with possibly the remains of a slight ditch around it. When walking around the base of the cairn, keep your eyes peeled for other stones of a similar size to the standing stone. They appear to be at fairly regular intervals around the base, 10 in all (including the standing one). Looking even harder, you'll see the remains of several cist covers. We counted four the remains of four large slabs, as well as lots of smaller pieces which may also once have been covers. There's also a cist intact if you look carefully. As far as I know, this site has never been excavated. (Courtesy of Andy Sweet, who put it better than I could).

As Andy has said, there's a lot going on here. Many of the stones are field clearance, but the cist covers and several recumbent stones (along with the single upright remaining) show that there was a veritable hive of neolithic activity here at one time.

According to a local lady I spoke to, the land belongs to the Abercairney Estate and was at one time used as a burial ground. The estate has been held by the Moray family since the end of the 13th century.

Visited 3rd August 2006

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