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

Creagach Leac

Round Cairn


The deceptively large round cairn surmounting the 413ft summit of Creagach Leac is well worth a look when visiting the superb Blasthill chambered cairn, located below to the north-west... if only to enjoy the 'aerial' view, to take the opportunity to observe how the latter was placed within the landscape. To attempt to grasp the 'bigger picture', if you like. And I do. Make the attempt, that is.

Despite the relative lack of elevation, the coastal location of this small, craggy hill (apparently the 5,398th tallest peak in Scotland, no less) ensures the canvas painted by Nature - and subsequently adapted, with varying degrees of aesthetic aptitude, by succeeding generations of humankind - is a fine, expansive work of vibrant colours balanced with subtle tonal nuances. Or something like that. Yeah, the sweeping vista looking westward toward The Mull of Kintyre is really quite something to behold, the azure sky of early afternoon now supplanted by the advancing vanguard of the next sequential weather front, a billowing mass of low cloud smothering the horizon. The thought occurs: how ironic is it that most visitors - myself included - probably first became aware of the existence of this sublime little corner of lowland Scotland through something so utterly devoid of beauty and artistic merit as McCartney's dire ditty? Besides, I understand this was always MacDonald territory...

With such an outlook is it easy to become consumed with speculative 'stuff' and forget that this grassy hill top is actually a Bronze Age cairn. Quite a big one, too, the RCAHMS (visiting way back in 1965, admittedly) recording that it "measures 13.5m in diameter by 0.84m in maximum height". In mitigation, however, the monument is so grassed over that it is necessary for me to wander around a bit, checking out the differing profiles, before I'm satisfied that the commission people weren't pulling a fast one back then. Needless to say they were not.

I guess the final thing to note - OK, penultimate, since there are a couple of suspiciously artificial looking mounds upon the western flank of Creagach Leac encountered on the way back to the car - is the shimmering, seemingly other-worldly presence of Ailsa Craig looming upon the southern-eastern horizon to the left of Sanda Island and the diminutive Sheep Island .... a vision conjuring up images of La Morte d'Arthur... with himself being conveyed across misty waters toward the Isle of Avalon.

Yeah, this is a good spot alright. If a little windy. I decide to seek out a wild camp upon the Mull itself tonight. Hopefully said wind will ensure there is no 'mist rolling in from the sea'....
8th August 2015ce
Edited 9th August 2015ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment