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The Grey Cairns of Camster

The Camster Cairns are some of the best-preserved Neolithic burial mounds in Scotland. They date from around 3500BC, and are developed sites, in that they were used over a long period of time.

The site consists of three cairns, one of which is only partly standing. The other two, a round cairn and a long cairn, have been re-roofed and partially restored. They are equipped with modern skylights so that you can see inside the chambers.

The round chamber is around 13 feet high and 58 feet in diameter. A very narrow passage allows access to the tall burial chamber, and there are smaller chambers leading from the passage.

The long cairn began as two separate cairns, which were then joined into one long horned mound with two chambers. The doorway has steps leading down into the passage. It is much larger than the round cairn stretching 55 feet across and 225 feet long.

It seems their main function was to house the dead, but they may have seen other ritual use

Directions: The cairns sit below Ballharn Hill on a minor road that can be reached from the A882 near Watten, or off the A99 near Occumster.

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