I have been wanting to come here for over four years ever since Gladman came on a sunny June day, well I finally made it but suffice to say it was not summer nor was it a sunny day, frankly it pissed down all day long, but my waterproofing laughs in the face of piss, and indeed precipitation.
Head out of Newton Stewart on the A714 heading for Girvan, after about 8 miles and reaching Bargrennan look for right turn with Glentrool village sign post. Go up this small road for less than a mile, park at track entrance into forest on the left.
Like an idiot I left the map in the car, but seeing as it's been said that to find the chambered cairn you only need follow the way marked posts with a white arrow and strip at the top. I decided to put this to the test.
So, going up the main forestry track, turn left at white tipped post, smaller footpath up hill, turn left at white tipped post across a clearing, the stones can be seen from here, as can the next white tipped post. Turning right off a path another path leads shortly to the cairn in it's own little clearing. Uncle Bob was a happy chappy.
Even in the constant drizzle I could see the beauty here, the mosses and lichens are on steroids here, the ferns that are mostly absent from all but Gladmans pictures were dying for the year but leaving the cairn covered in a vibrant reddy brown covering. The close nit trees all round the cairn sometimes have paths leading into them, dark corridors into god knows what kind of other worldly place.
The cairn is a very good one, Greywether tells us that the other chambered cairns round here are named after this one, the signature expression of Bargrennan type tombs.
The cairn is maybe five foot tall, and it's central chamber has a passage facing I think south south east. We enter the chamber, the pair of capstones are just high enough to sit up under them, it is a whole lot drier than outside. On the back stone in the chamber on its lower left corner is what looks like a large cup mark but it is I think natural, but it wouldn't have gone unremarked upon by it's builders. Graffiti is still being added, this year in fact, utter turds!
Eric's just about had enough now and he's making his way slowly back to the main path, not saying lets go now but he's being fairly transparent. Just another minute I shout over, a walk around the cairn looking for kerb stones and such revealed one large stone with a large cup shaped depression upon it, reminding me of the smaller one in the chamber.
Time to go now, a few other places on my wish list have to be ticked off today, but not all of them.
Loved this.... don't be mis-led by the 'White Cairn' marked on the 1:50K OS map a considerable distance to the NW, near Bargrennan Burn. The White Cairn we want is much closer to Glen Trool village and marked simply as 'chambered cairn'... for once the megarak has an easier time than he anticipated! Doesn't happen very often....
As Sals says, a waymarked track, appropriately indicated by white-tipped posts - I detect a female's co-ordinated touch here - makes very pleasant progress towards what would otherwise be a pretty difficult to find chambered cairn, hidden within a forestry clearing. And what a fine chambered cairn it is, too, with double capstone, the inner sheared into two segments by (hopefully only) the progress of time, within a large, round cairn. The chamber itself is reached by a low passageway, open to the elements.
There are minor gripes, such as the prevalence of grafitti within the chamber, some old, some relatively new, together with a flooring of white gravel. But, as stated, these really are minor. What's more I'm joined by no-one, the aura here remaining just as a woodland clearing should be. A small information panel gives punters an indication of what lies before them. But, to be honest, the White Cairn speaks for itself this afternoon.
Note that the Cairnderry chambered cairn lies a few miles down the road and is worth a look... not to mention Glen Trool itself, a must for fans of The Bruce, I'd have thought?
This cairn is about 12 miles north of Newton Stewart, and a pleasant walk through forestry land from the village of Glentrool. Park on the road above the playing field and follow the white marked posts direct to it.
This is the tomb which, following its excavation in 1949, became the type-site for the Bargrennan style of chamber tombs.
There are around a dozen of them in SW Scotland and the distinguishing feature is a chamber which is structurally indistinct from the passage. This sets them apart from the more numerous Clyde tombs whose distribution overlaps that of Bargrennan tombs.
Bargrennan tombs can be set in round or long cairns.