Bàrr a’ Chuirn, Kilmartin, Argyll

Cairn:  OS Grid References – NR 8122 9782

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 39465
  2. Lady’s Seat Cairn

Getting Here

Many ways to get here, but you’ve gotta amble off-path through the woods to eventually find it — but it’s not difficult. From Kilmartin village head to Slockavullin and walk up the winding track which takes you towards the Ballygowan cup-and-ring stones, but follow it into the woods instead. The OS-map’s gonna be your best guide here. I first visited this spot from the south and ambled about, aimlessly at times for several hours, after I’d first been to the great ruined mansion of Poltalloch. Well worth checking out if you enjoy finding allsorts!

Archaeology & History

The old tomb is actually a few hundred yards beneath the small rocky summit of Barr a’ Chuirn, with the overgrowth of the woods imposing itself upon it. The Scottish Royal Commission report (1988) told that there was a large seat built here in the 19th century called the Lady’s Seat, and actually set up on the cairn itself so giving groovy views all round to those who came here. The Seat was made from large slabs of stone, which may originally have come from the old tomb.  An excavation here in the mid-19th century,

“found the remains of two cists and some burnt bones, with a ‘skeleton of later date, between the two cists, but probably put there by the men who destroyed the cairn.’ In 1929 Craw re-examined the site and found that the central cist had chambered and grooved slabs. This cist is aligned ENE and WSW, and the E end-slab is now missing; the cist measured about 1m by 0.5m and about 0.3m in depth internally. The northern side-slab is grooved at the west end.”

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.123075, -5.520934 Bàrr a\' Chuirn cairn

Fairy Knowe, Crarae, Minard, Argyll

Cairn:  OS Grid Reference – NR 9874 9736

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 40010

Archaeology & History

Fairy Knowe (Campbell 1923)

Just over 100 yards northeast of the chambered cairn in Crarae Garden we can see the denuded remains of this old mound, long ago held as the dwelling place of the little people. When it was first described in 1865, a standing stone was reported as surmounting the tomb, but this can no longer be seen.  Further excavations made by Sir George Campbell in 1923 and reported in the Oban Times, showed the cairn to have been 108 feet across and nearly 6 feet tall at the centre — beneath which a “stone coffin” was found.  It was said that two passages ran from this middle chamber: one to the southwest and the other roughly southeast.  Deposits of shells, antlers, and the bones of cattle, deer, horses and sheep were also found here.

References:

  1. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments, Scotland, Argyll – volume 6: Mid-Argyll and Cowal, HMSO: Edinburgh 1988:61.
  2. Scott, J.G., “Excavation of the Chambered Cairn at Crarae, Loch Fyneside,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 94, 1961.

Links:

  1. The Fairy Knowe, Crarae – on Scotland’s Places

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.126480, -5.239576 Fairy Knowe cairn