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


Chambered Tomb


It was a weird thing entering that cairn that had been so long closed, and it was a cheerful thing to come out and see the people that had gathered, even from this lone district, as soon as they heard that there was really a building and chambers found in the cairn.

It was curious, also, to listen to the superstitions that came out. One woman who lived here, and might therefore be considered an authority, said that she used to see lights upon it in the dark nights. That you may explain as you please; distances are not easily judged of in the dark. One man, who also lived near, and who certainly was intelligent, said he would not enter for the whole estate of Lochnell.

We have often inquired the name of the cairn. The cairn really has had no definite name. Some people have called it Carn Ban or White Cairn, but that is evidently confusing it with the other cairn which we saw over the moss, and which is really whiter. Some people have called it Ossian's Cairn, but that is not an old name, and even if it had been, we know that it is a common thing to attach this name to anything old. We call it Achnacree Cairn, from the name of the farm on which it stands.

It was a pleasant day for us and all around to find an interest so human and natural arising out of things deep in the ground in this secluded place, adn it makes one wonder whether there be not, in every part of the world, something that might interest us all if we only knew how to look at it.
There's plenty more detail on the cairn in this book. There's the interesting detail that on a ledge inside the cairn on the east side "were placed six white pebbles of quartz - four in one part and two a little separate. On the west side were two white pebbles; others of the same kind, but discoloured, were found in the soil." And more pebbles were found in some urns in the cairn. "The quartz pebbles have been often noticed. Mr. Mapleton has found them often in urns and cists in this county, and in one case near Lochnell and far from quartz rock [..] He found three angular pieces of quartz firmly imbedded in a deep cup made in the rock, and surrounded by rings or circle markings, in the Kilmartin district lately. These markings were covered over with about 15 inches of soil, in which no quartz occured. Dr. Wilson mentions twenty-five urns having been found on the Cathkin hills, each with its face downwards, and a quartz stone under it."

From 'Loch Etive and the Sons of Uisnach' by Robert Angus Smith (1879).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
7th March 2011ce
Edited 7th March 2011ce

Comments (1)

Thanks Rhiannon, the full text of the book is here:
rockartuk Posted by rockartuk
7th March 2011ce
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