Ford, Kilmartin, Argyll

Tumulus:  OS Grid Reference – NM 86899 03572

Getting Here

Ford Tumulus on 1875 map

Although I describe this site in association with the township of Kilmartin, it is in fact several miles north of there – but I reckoned that if I say it’s near Kilmartin, then those of you who don’t really know this region, will have some idea of its locale.  So – from Lochgilphead, go up north thru Kilmartin, another coupla miles on, till you reach the small road to your right (signposted ‘Ford’).  Just keep driving for a couple more miles until you hit the village.  If you park by the only shop, you’re just past the old tomb.  Diagonally across on the opposite side of the road from the Ford Hotel, right by the road-junction, just before the little shop, you’ll see a notable rounded mound overgrown in shrubs. Embedded in this are the remains of an old tomb.

Archaeology & History

Ford tumulus (photo, couresty J. Reid)

This typical-looking fairy-mound just by the road junction in the village is where me and my daughter used to scramble around, sometimes playing and sometimes seeing if we could find anything of note in this ancient hillock, but all trace of any prehistoric stonework seems to be well-buried.  When excavators explored the site in bygone times, a small stone cist was found, which aligned (yet again) north-south and measured internally, roughly, 3ft x 2ft.  Only small!

A food vessel in Edinburgh’s central museum, “found in a cist in the neighbourhood of the lower end of Loch Awe” is thought to have come from this tomb.


  1. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Argyll – volume 6: Mid-Argyll and Cowal, HMSO 1988.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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