Cairn Riv

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Alternative Names Carlin Stone; Cairn Rib; Cairn Riv; Cairn-Rieve; Backhill Of Drachlaw
Canmore ID 18323
Site Number NJ64NE 4
NGR NJ 6744 4659
Former Region GRAMPIAN
Former District BANFF AND BUCHAN
Former County BANFFSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

NJ64NE 4 6744 4659

Not to be confused with possible stone circle (NJ 6709 4630) and stone circle (NJ 6729 4633) at Backhill of Drachlaw, for which see NJ64NE 5 and NJ64NE 6 respectively.

(NJ 6744 4659) Cairn Rib. (NR) (Site of)
Carlin Stone (NR)
OS 6" map, Banffshire, 2nd ed., (1905)

Cairn Riv is said to have been surrounded by a chain of stone circles (of which NJ64NE 5 and NJ64NE 6 and 7 comprise part.)
A portion of a gold chain and a gold ring were found in Cairn Riv. The older spelling of the 'Carlin Stone' was 'Caerlin'.
Name Book 1866.

The Cairn-rieve stone is now the only one that remains of a large cairn which stood partly in Inverkeithny and partly in Turriff. About the year 1820, hundreds of loads of stones were carted from this cairn to build dikes on the farm of Raecloch. At that period the cairn was about 32 yards in diameter. 'In old times a road, about 12 feet broad and edged with slates led from the Cairn-rieve stone to a Druidical Circle at Drachlaw, not far distant - a circle that is still extant.'
J B Pratt 1901.

Cairn Riv. A dotted ring some 95ft in diameter is shown on the Ordnance map and on the S arc is an enormous stone named Carlin Stone. There are 3 stones in line, the Carlin Stone between 2 others quite small in comparison. In addition, there are 2 set stones projecting inwards from the Carlin Stone.
This boulder, rugged, unshapely, and most unusual in height though it be, should be accepted as the Recumbent Stone of a circle that certainly once existed here, and partly because, through the information derived from the tenant of Backhill (Mr Anderson), the following facts were obtained.
In Mr Anderson's father's time, there were several stones, none so huge as the Carlin, 'in a circle,within which was a very low mound or cairn, not a cairn in the true sense, but only 3ft or so in height, spreading over a great space'. The other stones were removed and the mound of stones were carried away for making dikes. In or near the circle were found a small perforated axe-hammer, portions of 3 bronze armlets, flint chips and a jet button.
Mr Anderson gave Coles (1903) the button for presentation to the NMAS.
F R Coles 1903.

'Carlin Stone' (remains of stone circle) Cairn Riv. Inverkeithny.
(Undated) information in NMRS.

The Carlin Stone is 8ft high and 9ft long. There is now nothing to indicate the circle or the 'road' mentioned by Pratt (1901). At the base of the Carlin Stone are a number of stones cleared from the field. No information was obtained regarding the finds associated with the site.
Revised at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 7 September 1964.

As above.
Resurveyed at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (RL) 4 September 1967.

Scheduled as Carlin Stone or Cairn Riv, stone circle, Backhill of Drachlaw.
Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 9 November 2000.

2 May 2011

Project Recumbent Stone Circles

Notes The site of this recumbent stone circle, which formerly enclosed a large cairn, falls near the E corner of a field of improved pasture. Its position is now marked by little more than the large recumbent – the Carlin Stone – standing just off the crest of a minor rise on a long spur dropping down northwards from the Hill of Carlincraig. The circle may have measured in excess of 30m in diameter (Name Book, Banffshire, No. 19, p 29) and the recumbent is shown on the SSW of the pecked outline depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Aberdeenshire 1872, xxii). The recumbent (2) faces S and is a block measuring some 3.6m in length by 2.6m in height; a support stone is visible beneath its E end. Immediately adjacent on the E an upright stone (A) some 1.2m high is set back from its leading edge; the front of this small stone is turned at an angle to the axis of the recumbent and a small earthfast quartz-rich boulder lies in the gap between them. Although there is no swelling in the surface of the field to mark the position of the internal cairn attested in antiquarian accounts, the soil is stonier to the N of the recumbent than it is to the S.
Visited by RCAHMS (ATW and KHJM) 2 May 2005

Further details

External Links

Aberdeenshire Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Barnatt, J (1989) Stone circles of Britain: taxonomic and distributional analyses and a catalogue of sites in England, Scotland and Wales, Brit Archaeol Rep, BAR British, vol.215 2v. Oxford
Page(s): 274-5 Held at RCAHMS P.81

Burl, H A W (1973a) 'The recumbent stone circles of North-East Scotland', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.102
Page(s): 60, 61, 69, 78

Burl, {H} A {W} (1976a) The stone circles of the British Isles, London and New Haven
Page(s): 350 Held at RCAHMS E.7.BUR

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