Clava Cairns are a well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery complex of passage graves; ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones in a beautiful setting.
Clava Cairns are free to visit and open year-round. To allow for physical distancing, please follow the one-way route on site. Please continue to follow government guidance, staying 2 metres away from other visitors, and bring your own hand sanitiser with you, to help keep everyone safe. Find out more about our re-opening plans.
Clava Cairns or the Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Bulnuaran of Clava are a group of three Bronze Age cairns located near Inverness. A hugely significant and exceptionally well preserved prehistoric site, Clava Cairns is a fantastic example of the distant history of Highland Scotland, dating back about 4,000 years.
The cemetery was used in two periods. At around 2000 BC a row of large cairns was built, three of which can still be seen today. A thousand years later the cemetery was reused and new burials were placed in some of the existing cairns and three smaller monuments were built including a 'kerb cairn'. Traces of a smaller cemetery can also be seen at Milton of Clava, a short distance up the valley to the west. The cairns at Balnuaran of Clava extended along a gravel terrace raised above the River Nairn.
Excavations have found evidence for farming on the site before any of these monuments were built. The settlement was directly replaced by the cairns and it even seems possible that some of the material used to build them had been taken from demolished houses.