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

Dun Bharpa

Chambered Cairn


There are two surviving chambered cairns on Barra - Dun Bharpa and Balnacraig. As they are only 800m apart, both can be easily visited together. This is by far the more interesting of the two.

As it is relatively undisturbed, it is one of the best examples of how a Hebridean Passage Grave would look once it had been sealed up and fallen out of regular use.

The cairn is about 5m high with many peristaliths still in place. The passage and chamber have not been opened but their location can be determined by the position of roofstones visible on top of the cairn.

Given the height of the cairn, the passage/chamber must either be located high in the cairn or, more intriguingly, be furnished with very tall sidestones.

Access. We drove up the metalled road to the museum which leaves the main road at NF656019 but stopped when the houses stop as the track looked a bit rough after that. It was.

After that it's a bit of a stiff climb up to the cairn with a few fences to cross.

However, when we reached the cairn (from the SW), we noticed what looked like the posts of a waymarked track approaching from the NW and continuing to Balnacraig. I don't know where in Barra it starts but it might be worth checking out.

Visited 28 July 2004
greywether Posted by greywether
29th September 2004ce
Edited 30th September 2004ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment