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


Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art


I didn't find this place easy to find at all.
After the depot on the forests edge I turned right instead of going straight on. Accordingly I ended up south of the fort Dun na Maraig on a track that takes you to Achnabeck farm house and standing stone(fallen).
We saw a sign for the rock art pointing into the trees, so it seemed all would be well. But somehow we ended up on what looked like a BMX track which took us to who knew where. But with map and compass and the high fort to get our bearings from we soon found our selves back on the right track. It took us straight to the rock art, Yaay.

I've been to Kilmartin several times now and seen the sign on the road pointing the way here but always I've gone off to see the stones instead. But not this time, it is high on the must see list.
To say that the rock art panels are extensive is to say that the kilmartin glen has some stones in it.
I wasn't expecting it to go on so far, the first panel is quite massive, inclined at 45 degrees, perhaps. It has many interesting forms upon it. But round the corner and you can see just how much further it goes. I'm afraid to say it was at this point that the fence jumper in me got the better of me. Over we go, no one saw us, i think we got away with it. Needless to say we didn't trample on the carvings, we always trod on grass.
One of the spirals is a meter across, huge, comparatively, it's the overgrown mutant of the rock art spiral world.
Plus, there's the view down into and across the valley, it's a nice place, a very nice place indeed.
But just then the swarm came, the real monster of the highlands, those god damn midges. Eric earlier in the day had pointed out some midge hat net thingies, but I said we could cope without them. We couldn't, they fair chased us away, there was more midges than there was vacant air, run for the hills, damn were already there.
The way back was more straight forward than coming.
postman Posted by postman
15th June 2014ce

Comments (9)

"there was more midges than there was vacant air" ugh, I know what you mean. For a small fee I could come with you next time and act as Midge Magnet. They would form a dense shell around me and you could walk along relatively undisturbed.

The panels look amazing - which self-respecting rock artist wouldn't be tempted by such a canvas. I wonder how many carvers the designs represent and what period of time.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
17th June 2014ce
I couldn't do that to you Rhiannon, to have my own midge magnet and folklorist i'd pay quite a considerable fee, but I'd feel inclined to fight them off for you, gent that I am.

I'm sure I couldn't even hazard a guess, but imagine how much more there might be beneath the forest, grass and undergrowth. There could be another Achnabreck waiting for a midge maddened tourist (not me) to start digging himself a holt.
postman Posted by postman
17th June 2014ce
Seriously. Get a net and wear a cap under it. It is cheap and it works. Even in places where Avon's Skin So Soft doesn't.
I find a strictly administered combination of both to be the only deterrant. Light cotton gardening gloves too.
Tuck socks in troos, cuffs under gloves and net under collar.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
17th June 2014ce
So a great big flame thrower would be too much then. postman Posted by postman
17th June 2014ce
I just bite them back.

Great site. I had to hop over the fence too. But, like you, I was careful. How could anybody who loves these places resist getting as close as possible?

I went to get a cup of tea & a slice of cake afterwards at the Kilmartin museum place, but they were closing up when I got there. Bah.

I must return, even if its just for the cake.
Evergreen Dazed Posted by Evergreen Dazed
18th June 2014ce
@ED... Yeah. The cafe at Kilmartin did that to me and my OH. Refused us soup, coffee or a biscuit. We had driven for hours. She said they were closed (it was five or ten minutes to closing time at 2pm). The cafe girl was standing with the soup urn in front of her, a ladle in her hand and two bowls in front of her.
She proceeded to ladle out soup for herself and her pal, took the tray over to their table and they tucked in. We left.
You remember these things. I have never returned to their cafe. I use their toilets though.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
18th June 2014ce
Thats bizarre - the 3 ladies behind the counter were making drinks for themselves as they told me they were closing too!

I nipped across the road to the little grocery store, bought a postcard and got a coffee from the machine there instead.

If they had completely shut up shop at the cafe then of course i'd understand, but they hadn't. It really does feel very unwelcoming when they could have v easily just poured me a tea or coffee, even if it had to be a takeaway!

Like you say, you don't forget things like that and its a shame.
Evergreen Dazed Posted by Evergreen Dazed
18th June 2014ce
Tea, biscuits, cake ? all a bit girly isn't it ?
In a place like Kilmartin I'm not wasting any time worrying about Tea.
postman Posted by postman
18th June 2014ce
A real mans man eh? :) Evergreen Dazed Posted by Evergreen Dazed
18th June 2014ce
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