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

Lang Cairn

Chambered Tomb


Relative to prehistoric structures, the term 'sleeping giant' could well have been invented for the Lang Cairn... sitting aloof at the southern end of Gallangad Muir, just north of the forest line, Mother Nature has now all but reclaimed her monument for herself, such is the heather coverage.

Yeah, the true height of this extraordinary long cairn may consequently be masked, but there's no disguising its length. The name is descriptive and apt. Say what you see, prosaic local inhabitant, say what you see.... For me, however, it is the impressive facade which is the finest component of this top rate cairn, despite the toppling of two of the tallest stones who knows when? Facade aside, however, structural details are scarce, with only the remnants of a lateral chamber visible mid-way(ish) along the right hand flank as the traveller makes his way from the facade end.

Due to the aforementioned forestry there's an 'otherworldly' aura here, the vibe amplified as a spontaneous Gladman exclamation echoes around the locality, as if within some natural mountain amphitheatre. Too much reverb, methinks. The light drizzle and mist lying upon the tree-tops probably helped as well, come to think of it. In some respects, a 'Lost World' analogy is not too fanciful, for the forestry not only shields the Lang Cairn from casual visitors, but makes a personal audience by the interested punter none too easy either.

So, assuming you've managed to locate the 'Auchencarroch Road' from the A813 at Jamestown, follow this minor road all the way to its terminus at West Cameron Farm. I asked to park here - no problem at all - before walking up the well made track, this veering eastwards, then southwards to enter the forestry. The trick now is to attempt to accurately guage when to cut through the trees to your right and emerge upon the moor within sight of the monument. Hmmm... somehow I managed the feat with ease, much to my surprise, although the 'ride' I chose did not possess the observation platform mentioned in Twinny's post. So must have been a bit 'jammy', then. Further to previous directions, ensure you pass a distinctive structure faced with a couple of horizonal wooden planks on your left, and look to do your 'Indiana Jones' bit near the end of the next long, straight section of track around the corner. Think of it as a sort of induction test to prove you are worthy. Or something like that.

Finally, I should relate that the long cairn was surrounded by numerous Historic Scotland notices warning that metal detecting at a Neolithic site is not only very stupid, rendering you a muppet (er, 'Stone Age') but also illegal. OK, perhaps it didn't say the former, but if any local TMA'ers are in a position to keep a look out, please do so.
7th June 2010ce
Edited 7th June 2010ce

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