Kirkshaws, Old Monkland, Lanarkshire

Tumulus (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NS 7249 6279

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 45792

Archaeology & History

Site location on 1864 map
Site location on 1864 map

On the flat meadowlands below the slopes of Old Monkland, half-a-mile southeast of the legendary Pilgrim’s Stone, an old mound once lived.  It may have been here for thousands of years but, with the encroachment of the toxic Industrialists, its time was coming to an end.  The mound was levelled in 1832 and, beneath it, relics from a truly ancient past were unearthed – and destroyed of course.  The account of its demise was told in the Glasgow Evening Post of May 26 that year.  Many years later, the Royal Commission (1978) lads unearthed the information and included the site in their inventory for prehistoric sites in Lanarkshire.  They told:

“In 1832 four cists were discovered during the levelling of a small mound 900m SE of Old Monkland Church. The cists, which measured about 1m by 0.6m, contained the remains of crouched inhumations, two of them double burials with the skulls at opposite ends of the cists. A stone hammer-head and a coin were found in one cist, the latter no doubt indicating subsequent disturbance. There is now no sign of the site, and it is not certain from the report whether the cists were inserted into a small natural  mound or were covered by a barrow.

“The present farmer states that his father discovered a single cist during ploughing in the same field; it contained a pottery vessel which the landowner, Mr Sholto Douglas, was thought to have presented to a museum, but it cannot now be traced.”


  1. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Lanarkshire: An Inventory of the Prehistoric and Roman Monuments, HMSO: Edinburgh 1978.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

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