The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Clach an t-Sagairt

Chambered Cairn


Well sited within rocky pasture overlooking the north-eastern end of Loch Craignish, with the wondrous Kintraw monolith and associated cairns located across the water to the approx east, I found the exposed chamber of Clach an t-Sagairt a joy to behold. Truly I did. As mentioned by those who came before, access is complicated a little by the proximity of housing. Although I'm not exactly enamoured with the thought of knocking on people's doors, being a somewhat typically reticent Englishman, I would nevertheless recommend doing so here since this is a spot to simply chill out for a while without distractions.

Travelling south-west upon the B8002 at Adfern, take the 'Soroba road' uphill to the right near the bus stop. A little way along this look, again, to the right for 'Bluebell Cottage' (hopefully I've recalled this correctly) and duly ask at the house at the top of the cul-de-sac for access... i.e. not any of those beyond further to the right. The young lady answering the door knew what I was after before I had the chance to utter a word.... the 'standing stones', before you have the opportunity to infer any ungentlemanly motive ... readily agreeing to my pre-empted request, as of course a charming young lady would. Now this could have been due to my 'devastating charm'. But I doubt it. Why, she's even left a short length of her back fence free from the dreaded barbed-wire to kindly ensure stoneheads avoid damaging the soft bits when entering the meadow.

The monument is worth the effort, three uprights supporting a capstone ('1.8m by 1.6m and up to 0.3m thick' [RCAHMS 1988]) to form a pretty substantial chamber within the remains of what appeared to be a circular cairn, albeit not that well defined a cairn. A chambered cairn, then. A couple of other stones stand close by including an 'upright slab.. 1m by 0.15m and protruding 0.45m' [RCAHMS 1988], together with what I took to be evidence of a secondary burial within the cairn. Then again maybe not? What is beyond dispute, however, is the manner in which the teeming downpour that greeting my arrival morphed into a beautiful, sunny late morning. Yeah, there are certainly many worse places to be than sat above Loch Craignish at Clach an t-Sagairt, hidden away in semi-obscurity. It seems the chamber was 'cleared' - as opposed to excavated - in the 1920's when 'ashes and splinters of bone', together with fragments of pottery 'said to resemble Food Vessels', were discovered.

The monument deserves to be better known, I guess. But then again is doing pretty well as it is, thank you very much.
10th August 2013ce
Edited 10th August 2013ce

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