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Barpa Langass

Chambered Cairn


From the Lochmaddy ferry terminal we headed straight here, just follow the road as it bends left, past some antenna type whatsit, round Beinn Langais, that's the hill on who's side the burial chamber is perched upon.
If memory serves the cairn cant be seen from the east, so the first sign that you've arrived is a sign pointing to the car park.
Car duly parked, the last few yards up hill to the chambered cairn are delirious ones, I was as giddy as a lone child at Christmas, I've been looking forward to this one for quite some time.
From the beginning really, I am slowly working my way through the big orange book, apart from a few stragglers here and there I've only got these far flung places still to get to, this is a big one.
It really is a big one too, I wasn't expecting it to be so big, or is it the wide open spaces that make it look big, or is it just me.
Then I saw the sign, read the sign, and swore at the sign, shit, what? closed? say it isn't so, I make my way to the entrance, eye up the wooden frame covering the entrance, pick it up in one hand and put it to one side, that's not closed, Hetty Peglar's tump, that was closed, this isn't closed.
Peering into the gloom inside, I decide that I've waited too long and come too far to be a prude, in all I might have given it a seconds thought, nah, who am I kidding I just went straight in with out a thought of what if it collapses on me, I haven't won the lottery nor been hit by a meteorite, I pass through the universe largely unnoticed, nothing interesting ever happens to me, it'll be fine.
It's a cramped scurry along the short passage, sidling past the collapse, footing is damn near treacherous, the floor is covered in large chunks of cairn material. This is the most chaotic burial chamber ever, it all looks very precarious, it got even more so as my son entered the tomb, then dad took over, I told him just a quick glimpse 'cause i'm coming out. So, no sitting and chilling, no pondering the mysteries of life and death, but at least I am here and I've seen whats inside and sat next to it.
When we'd got out Eric noticed the dogs had turned on the hazard lights in my car so he went down to correct things, while I had a final ten minutes up here. Walking round the Barp I reckon I saw a few large kerb stones on the maybe northern side, but they were more like circle stones than kerb stones.
I didn't climb up onto it, that would be maybe too much, the universe might see me.
It's now almost ten o'clock at night and we've yet to find a campsite, so that's where were off to next, but, my it's been a long day.
postman Posted by postman
3rd August 2016ce
Edited 3rd August 2016ce

Comments (6)

Nice one Postie - glad you made it. Happy memories! :) Posted by CARL
3rd August 2016ce
Loved the fieldnotes, and liked the fact that the risk of possible entombment at any moment failed to deter you going in, a man after my own heart! Glad you made it out OK too, TMA wouldn't be the same without you! Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
4th August 2016ce
Thanks be to both of you, it took an age but we got here in the end, or near to the end anyway.
Not the first tomb that was supposed to be closed that I somehow got into and I reckon not the last, and that's very nice of you to say so, thanks.
postman Posted by postman
4th August 2016ce
Good show. Guess it's par for the course that WKLB gets a makeover while Barpa Langass has been left in this state for years... my Anna & Graham Ritchie's Oxford guide to Scotland says the chamber is 'not now accessible'... and that was published in 1998. I went in 2004 and had to crawl in on my back; as I recall there was the decaying remnant of a sign then, too. Blimey, 12 years ago. That, according to my notes, I then fell asleep inside for a couple of hours says everything about the vibe.

Suggestion is it's much more stable than we are being led to believe? If not, something really needs to be done one way or the other. It deserves better than this.
4th August 2016ce
Fabulous wonderful etc run out of superlatives so don't expect coherence. And I've not even mentioned the circle or wondered where else you went. Well maybe a bit. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
4th August 2016ce
Cheers chums,
I wasn't really worried about further collapsing movements, more about the mess it's in, it should be fixed up a bit.
Many more places......
postman Posted by postman
5th August 2016ce
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