Local archaeology

There is much for those visiting Royal Deeside to see in the way of archaeology. The lack of industrial activity and the rural landscape have thankfully preserved so much of our past. Below are just a few sites of interest which are extremely close to us at Cairngorm Lodges.

Poldhu Wells - Healing Waters

A site of archaeological interest on the estate itself is Poldhu wells; mineral springs located just a short distance from our Red Squirrel Lodge. The wells had become severely overgrown but in 2008, with the help of local volunteers, they were restored to their former glory. Interestingly the wells boast waters of healing properties and debate continues still today about whether the water in the local area does truly have health giving qualities. One thing is for certain, regardless of where you come from you will find the local water fresh tasting. Information leaflets about the wells are in the lodges.

The belief is:
“There is a mineral spring in the Parish, a little to the south of the Church, called Poldow, which in the Gaelic signifies a ‘black pool’; the water of which, some years ago, was much and successfully used for scorbutic and gravelish disorders. Great crowds of the country people still resort to Poldow and drink of waters for all disorders.”

(History of Logie Coldstone and Braes of Cromar, John G Mitchie, 1896 citing
the Reverend Robert Farquharson, 1793).

Tomnaverie stone circle

Tomnaverie Stone Circle:

Located just 5 minutes from us on the Tarland to Aboyne Road, The Tomnaverie stone circle was built around 4000 years ago on a small hill. Its characteristic feature is a large stone set on its side (recumbent), flanked by two upright stones. Within the stone circle are the remains of a low cairn which archaeological excavation in 2000 showed pre-dated the stone circle. The views from the stone circle across the Howe of Cromar and over to Lochnagar are just spectacular.

Culsh Earth House:

Located just outside Tarland, on the road to Aberdeen. The 2000 year old Earth House is a well-preserved souterrain or underground passage, with roofing slabs intact over the large chamber and entrance. It was most likely used to store food for the local community. It’s a favourite with kids – getting them to come out can be an issue!!

The Kinord Cross:

The Kinord Cross can be found on the banks of Loch Kinord, which forms part of the Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve.  It is a beautifully carved 6ft granite cross most likely dating back from the 9Th Century AD and is the best example of a Celtic symbol stone in Britain. It is suggested that the cross was commissioned by St Fumoc to furnish a chapel at Kinord, although others believe that it dates back to the days of Malcolm Canmore when the chapel was consecrated by his wife, Queen Margaret. The stone was moved from its original  home in 1820 but a hundred years later returned to the shores of Loch Kinord, at least close to the original site.

Burn 'o' Vat

The crannog (man made island) that you can see in Loch Kinord is the best example of an Iron Age crannog in the North East of Scotland. The crannog would have been built of stones and wood with a dwelling of some description on it. There would have been a causeway for inhabitants to get from the crannog to shore, although typically the causeway would have been destroyed if the crannog inhabitants were under attack. Four oak canoes have been found near the crannog which would have been used to return to shore following an attack. It’s quite something to stand on the edge of Loch Kinord and imagine the crannog being built some 2000 years ago.

It’s well worth tying in a trip to Loch Kinord with one to explore the Burn O’ Vat, both are only 10 minutes from Cairngorm Lodges.

Come and imagine what it would have been like on Royal Deeside in times gone by!