THE MEMORIAL CAIRN OF CLAN FARQUHARSON
Cairns are quite a distinct part of the Scottish landscape. Piles of stones and boulders are dotted around probably mainly seen at the side of a road from the comfort of a car or by a footpath when out walking. The piles vary in size from a few hundred stones down to a dozen or so. The sizes of the stones also vary from ones the size of a fist to some weighing a couple of dozen pounds. This would have been determined by simply what was laying around on the ground near the Cairn.
Cairns were rallying points before battles and fights. Each man would place a stone on the ground upon arrival and remove it again after the fight. Then the number of stones left would count to the lost number of the Clan. These Cairns are quite sacred to us who know what they are and will trigger reflection for a lot of Clan History.
The Farquharson Clan Cairn is situated in a beautiful position on the north side of the River Dee just south of the A93 road (see Map below). There are Police ‘No Stopping’ signs each side of this point on the road as this is also the best view of Balmoral Castle from the road. About a ¼ mile further west, towards Braemar, there is a lay-by on the south side of the road and from here there is a path and small sign towards the Cairn. The path can be very muddy and overgrown, very often with stinging nettles. Good luck and safe journey!
The cairn is used today as a place of remembrance and we have had several stones placed on the cairn in memory of clan members who have passed away. This is a tradition we are keen to maintain, but if you wish to do this in memory of a loved one, please make arrangements to visit the cairn with the Factor of the Invercauld Estate, on telephone 013397 – 41224.
The Clan meet each year at the Cairn during the August Gathering and we kindly have use of a field for parking on the Invercauld Estate. A Piper leads us from the field, very often accompanied by sheep or cattle, to the Cairn and then a prayer and short speech are made after which photographs can be taken.