Hawk Hill Cairn, Alloa, Clackmannanshire

Cairn:  OS Grid Reference – NS 8911 9282

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 47168

Getting Here

The Hawk Hill cairn, Alloa

From the railways station, walk to the dual carriageway (crossing the road) and walk on the A907 road to your left; cross the next road & walk round the corner, crossing the next road by the zebra crossing. OK, walk to your right, bearing immediately left down Devon Road, then just 20 yards on take the footpath up the side of the house on your left, and keep walking until you go into the trees. Then keep your eyes peeled for the fairy mound with a rock on top of it!

Archaeology & History

Overgrown cairn, looking NE

This is a large rounded, almost archetypal tumulus, sitting just a couple of minutes walk out of Alloa town centre, sandwiched between streets in the remaining copse of trees running east-west along Hawk Hill.  Although the mound is of considerable size—with a large curious block of stone plonked on top—it hasn’t always been like that and has evidently been rebuilt sometime in the 20th century, for when the Royal Commission (1933) lads visited the site in July 1927, they reported only a bare trace of the old tomb, saying:

“The site of the cairn at Hawk Hill lies about 100 yds SSE of the lodge gate. The position is marked by a setting of young trees, but the ground has been cultivated and no definite outline of any structure can now be traced. A few loose stones of no great size, lying scattered about, are the only signs of a cairn.”

But the site is quite large, being more than 4 feet high and about 18 yards across, with a large flattened circular top.  Nearby there was reported to have been another cairn, but this turned out to be little more than some recent debris.

Folklore

Local folklore tells that this monument is along a ley line that links it with the Hawk Hill Cross and destroyed stone circle east of here and the remains of a little-known standing on the outskirts of Alloa, to the west. I’ve not checked the precision of this alignment, but a quick scan of it looks pretty decent!

References:

Arabaolaza, Iraia, “Hawk Hill, Alloa,” in Discovery & Excavation in Scotland, New Series volume 10, 2009.
Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments, Scotland, Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the Counties of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan, HMSO: Edinburgh 1933.
Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments, Scotland, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Clackmannan District and Falkirk District, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 1978.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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