|An important site in that it is a Neolithic Clyde chambered cairn with a cup and ring mark.
The only other such finds (as far as I know) are at Cairnholy - one on a cup and ring marked stele which was found in a chamber in Cairnholy 1 and assumed to be secondary and another on a chamber stone also at Cairnholy 1 which could have been exposed and thus decorated at any later date.
There is, of course, no telling when the cup and ring was added at Ardmarnock but its position in the centre of the septal stone in the chamber might suggest that it was part of the original structure. There is also a cup mark on the other side of the septal stone.
The site was cleared of its impenetrable rhododendrons a few years ago but they are begining to grow back in. They make it difficult to see the extent of the surviving cairn but the well preserved chamber arrangements are still visible.
What we probably have here is a single compartment chamber fronted by two large portal stones and a slipped capstone. It faces NE.
A 1970s description treats the portal stones as two side stones of another compartment. Their shape does not support this interpretation but it would allow the other visible stone to be treated as a capstone to this second compartment.
More detail with the photo captions.
The site is well worth a visit. It is in the grounds of Ardmarnock House and is signposted from the south drive of the house. It is a good site to take a bike to. The approach to Ardmarnock House is down a private well surfaced road 2 miles long. Non-bikers (like me) can park at the entrance to the Melldalloch holiday cottages off the B8000 and walk.
To break the monotony of the walk, there is along the way a hill fort (also signposted but not visited) and a good cup and ring marked stone at NR92107401. I tried to find the latter but tree-felling operations made it impossible to get close.
Visited 31 March 2004
Posted by greywether
2nd April 2004ce
Edited 2nd April 2004ce