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

Cam Loch

Chambered Cairn


Thelonious's lucid comments succinctly capture the appeal of this megalithic Inverpolly wonderland for this curious Citizen Cairn'd. Take out the map, choose something on said map.... and go see what's there. If it's a little underwhelming - possible; but, I'd wager, unlikely - there's no need to fret. Just move onto the next one nearby. Simples. Oh. And you may well get a glimpse, or two, of some pretty special landscape into the bargain.

Having said the above, however, it would be remiss of me to claim any pioneering TMA intention for this pair of cairns. No, I'd seen the previous notes, well, previously, and consequently scribbled this one down on the list. So, awaking from an overnighter just east of Loch Borralan, I make my way to the co-ordinates mentioned by thelonious a little west of the Ledmore River cairn on the A835. As I arrive, two very fit looking Germans (men, unfortunately) speed off down the track in the direction of the Cam Loch leaving me floundering very much in their wake... more or less literally, since I doubt whether the landscape could take any more moisture, to be honest. But hey, there's no denying Mother Scotland 'knows' a thing or three about how to use all this excess water to great aesthetic effect. Consider the sight of Suilven rising across the relatively placid surface of Cam Loch as I slither down to the near shore. Surely a spot to spend all day at relaxing under the watchful gaze of Suil? Er no. Not when the standing stones exert a magnetic attraction upon the visitor so difficult to define. Much like my inherent sense of (mis)direction....

So... abandoning the track (as usual) in search of legendary views, I discover, as (I think) Prof Cox once said, that 'things can only get better' in that respect. Truly exquisite. I really do not think the traveller can experience many finer for the effort required. Then... I come face to face with a seemingly impassable deer fence. Ha! Apparently they have these in Scotland to keep the sassenachs in check. Once across - not being a deer - I proceed to make a bit of a hash of locating the ancient monuments, only to suddenly see an 'obvious' chambered cairn standing upon a prominent knoll a lot further below my position than I had anticipated from the 1:50k map. Clearly from the 'Cam Loch' nomenclature I assumed the monument would overlook the loch. Guess the assumption to take from this is to never, ever.... assume. Nevertheless, despite the lack of altitude, the location is superb. As is the archaeology, the cairn possessing an apparently polygonal chamber, entrance passage and very substantial lintel. Amongst other stones. A top-class site, in fact.

The vibe kicks in and it is time to sit down and enjoy the light, enjoy the colours, the textures of the stones... enjoy the moment. The cairn - actually 'cairns' since there is another a little to the approx south-east, albeit lacking the orthostats and inherent detail of its near neighbour - overlooks the Ledbeg River flowing below to the east, as you might have expected of a Neolithic monument. OK, the vista is not as overwhelming as those experienced earlier. No, a quarry across the valley emphasises this is very much a 'working landscape'. Yeah, people still live and work here attempting to tame this brutally uncompromising corner of Scotland. Guess they always have, the Cam Loch chambered cairn still remaining upon this barren hillside in mute testimony to past human endeavours. I like that.
3rd October 2013ce
Edited 3rd October 2013ce

Comments (2)

As usual Gladman, reading your fieldnotes makes me want to pack my bag and go travelling straight away. Our time spent in places like this is special but always too brief. thelonious Posted by thelonious
6th October 2013ce
Not got a problem with that if the sites turn out to be anywhere near as good as the Cam Loch CC. By the way if you get the chance recommend you check out the upper Loch Borralan cairn one day. GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
6th October 2013ce
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