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




<b>Torrylin</b>Posted by MothImage © Tim Clark
Also known as:
  • Torlin

Nearest Town:Campbeltown (24km WSW)
OS Ref (GB):   NR955211 / Sheets: 68, 69
Latitude:55° 26' 27.04" N
Longitude:   5° 14' 0.05" W

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<b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Vicster <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Hob <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Hob <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Hob <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Hob <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Hob <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by greywether <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by greywether <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Moth <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Moth <b>Torrylin</b>Posted by Moth


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Signposted off the A841 (Historic Scotland site)

Although the rain continued to pour I was determined to fit one more site in before calling it a day. My boots and feet were sodden from the earlier sites I had visited and I was relived that this one actually had a proper path to it.

As the Vicster points out the path is pretty and on this occasion offered some respite from the rain. I could put up with the odd muddy patch or three!

Although there is not a huge amount to see it was interesting and different to see the four compartments of the burial chamber set out in front of you. As others have said, this is far from being the best site to visit on Arran but it is worth it nonetheless. AND it has a proper path!
Posted by CARL
4th August 2015ce

Another site with cracking views across to Ailsa Craig. However, this one had less of a pull for me than East Bennan and you have to wonder why this one was "chosen" to be signposted and looked after, when other, possibly more deserving, sites aren't?

Still, it is a lovely walk through the woods and the views are wonderful.
Vicster Posted by Vicster
22nd May 2010ce
Edited 29th May 2010ce

I can confirm Merrick's observation about wheelchair access, the right hand fork also has a better surface.

I'd also agree with the comments below about the strange ambience induced by the cairn's peculiar combination of ruinous state and Heritage manicure.

The largest stone has some interesting natural features, reminiscent of cup marks, but also hinting at fossilised mussel shells. I'd like to think these marks had something to do with this particular stone being chosen for inclusion into the body of the cairn.

A nocturnal visit produced no evidence of the 'shadowy phantoms' mentioned below.

Visited August 2006
Hob Posted by Hob
19th January 2007ce

It's worth mentioning that this is one of the few wheelchair accessible megalithic sites. The track up from Kilmory post office is 800m, untarmacked and on inclines so you'd probably want a push, but nothing horribly steep. No steps, no gates (except a wide one at the stones).

Incidentally, when the path forks 300m in from the post office, take the right hand one. They meet up again later, but the left goes steeply uphill and back down again to do it.

Looking along the coast to the west, there's a cairn barely 500m away just across the burn, and another chambered cairn, Lagg or Torrylinn 2, a few hundred metres beyond that just after the big buttressed wall thing.

It's got all the sanitised feel of a municipally restored showpiece, but still the view out to Ailsa Craig is wonderful, and it's well worth the visit.

visited 10 June 05
Posted by Merrick
24th November 2005ce

Of all the chambered cairns in Arran (around 25), Historic Scotland have to pick this pathetic specimen as the example to display to the public.

OK, the views are great but there are much better sites than this to demonstrate the architecture and use of these monuments. Giant's Graves, for example, could benefit from some on-site interpretation especially as that and Machrie Moor are the two sites most visited by the general tourist.

Visited 9 May 2005
greywether Posted by greywether
15th May 2005ce

Wow! Hot sun beating down in mid-September, a picnic of epic proportions, and a view over Ailsa Craig to dance for!
This is such a lovely place, blackberries on the way, beach in front to check out for sure...

The remains are small, the mound apparently was much bigger. Check out the alignment on the Ailsa Craig rock, obvious, how did it work when the chambers and mound were still intact. Must have been from a bit further off. But now the "gunsight" effect is pretty spectacular.
Cows chill in the next field, a couple have brought their child here, everyone is taking time and taking it in.
Not like on Machrie Moor, where people zoom round the path see the stones (just) and then piss off back to their waiting cars to see the next thing on the list.

Good skillz ancients!!
Posted by FurryDan
20th September 2001ce


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At Torlin, on a green bank near the shore, there is an interesting specimen of the "elongated" chambered cairn. It is intersected from east to west by a row of vaults, consisting each of six unhewn slabs, from five to eight feet square. These vaults or chambers were filled with human bones, some of which, we were informed, were cleft as if from the blow of an axe or hatchet.

This cairn was partially removed some years ago by a modern Goth, who rifled the cells of their contents, and strewed them over his field. With daring irreverence, he selected one of the largest skulls from the ghastly heap, and carried it home with him; but scarcely had he entered his house when its walls were shaken as if struck by a tornado. Again and again the avenging blast swept over his dwelling, though not a sigh of the gentlest breeze was heard in the neighbouring wood.

The affrighted victim hastened to re-bury the bones in their desecrated grave, but day and night shadowy phantoms continued to haunt his mind and track his steps, and a few months after the commission of his rash deed, whilst riding along the high road towards Lag, he was thrown from his horse over a steep embankment, and dashed against the rocks of the stream beneath.

This tradition is well known in Arran, and has tended to deepen the feelings of superstitious dread with which these monuments are generally regarded.

It was with some feelings of trepidation, after listening to this fearful tragedy, that we proceeded to remove the stones and earth which filled the rifled cells of this ghost-haunted cairn; but a few marine shells, mixed with the small delicate bones of birds, were all we could discover to repay our labour.
p23 of 'The Antiquities of Arran' by John McArthur (1861).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th August 2007ce