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


Chambered Tomb


Although a futile exercise, of course, just imagine if this massive, chambered cairn hadn't been wilfully vandalised.... my mistake... 'excavated' by Angus Smith in 1871. Perhaps Argyll would still possess something to rival some of Ireland's great, virgin cairns? Then again perhaps we would now have a concrete dome a third of the size preserving and 'protecting' the chamber, but changing the whole character of the monument? Hmm...there is no cut and dried answer, is there? And of course it is unrealistic to be too hard on Mr Smith, since his contemporaries would probably have seen nothing untoward in his actions. It was the self-righteous Victorian Age, after all.

Of the centrally placed chamber, only a gaping crater remains, whilst two obvious orthostats still remain in situ from what would appear to have been a facade/forecourt to the south-east. So, not much surviving detail, then.

But, come on, the great, round cairn is still some 4m tall. Which is mightily impressive in anyone's language, particularly mine, Achnacree being possibly the tallest such monument I've seen outside of the aforementioned Emerald Isle? Foliage borders, but does not encroach upon the cairn proper, leading to an excellent, 'cool vibe' on this sunny afternoon. Although, come to think of it, the pretty strong breeze probably has something to do with the 'cool' bit. The trees also screen the site from the houses across the road, handy in that they avoid a 'Memsie' situation.

So, not a great deal to report, but well worth a visit. Particularly if you've got a thing about large, round cairns. Oh, but what could have been!

Heading north across the Connell Bridge on the A823, pass the airport and caravan park on your left before taking the immediate next right turn.
Follow this unfeasibly straight road past Dalvuie (on your left) and the cairn will soon be obvious on the right. It would appear parking is not an issue before the houses opposite.
13th June 2010ce
Edited 13th June 2010ce

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