From an article by Stephen Stewart of The Herald - 9th September 2004
One of Scotland's most important museums has been saved from closure by a £100,000 investment package. Frank McAveety, the culture minister, helped broker the deal which will save Kilmartin House Museum in Argyll... continues...
Mixed Ashes of Man and Animal Give Insight into Bronze Age
From The Herald 22 March 2004.
A birdwatcher who unearthed the 4000-year-old cremated remains of a young man has given archaeologists fresh insight into the close, superstitious bonds between humans and animals in prehistoric society... continues...
Sacred pool ringed by totem poles in Scotland's ritual glen
British Archaeology news
Issue 64, April 2002.
An early Bronze Age timber circle containing an inner ring of totem poles set around a deep, sacred pool is thought to have once stood at the head of the Kilmartin Valley in Argyll, site of one of Scotland's richest concentrations of prehistoric ritual monuments... continues...
I think that one of the best ways to see the tombs and stones at the top end of the valley is to walk past the museum and down to the bottom of the road. Cross the field diagonally and you will find a stile onto a path which takes you to each of the cists and then onto Temple Wood and the great cross.
Ah, what a beautiful, beautiful site I reckon this to be, quite possibly now my favourite in the Kilmartin area..... and, let's face it, there are quite a few to choose from. Yeah, Dunadd may have rightly captured the popular imagination when it comes to Argyll hillforts, what with its legendary status and expertly protected 'footprint' that tourist punters can try for size.... audience participation is always a sure fire winner. However I think Creag a' Chapuill beats it hands down in every respect, save that mystical 'sacred mountain' profile rising above the River Add. Instead the much larger enclosure, perched high upon this isolated crag, has views to die for - just ensure sure you don't make that a reality! - bending its metaphorical knee to a sacred 'hill' in an altogether different league... the mighty Ben Cruachan
Creag a' Chapuill is but one - albeit by far the largest, as far as I can tell - of a chain of high, fortified enclosures guarding the northern approach to Kilmartin Glen, overlooking the western end of the wondrous Loch Awe, not forgetting its much smaller consort Loch Ederline, near the small village of Ford. Exquisite scenery, exquisite vibe. Sheer crags to the south make a substantial contribution to both the former and latter, not to mention defensibility. A great dry stone rampart, significant remnants of which still girdle the hillside 'filling in the gaps' between natural rocky crags, did the remainder and must have ensured this hillfort was well nigh unassailable before the coming of the Roman war machine. If it ever came this far, that is? Bloody Romans.
Access is still pretty difficult today, although no doubt I made much harder work of it than needed to be the case approaching from the west, what with blundering through trees etc. Well, it looked easy enough upon my old 1:50K OS map. But then again doesn't it always? Anyway, take the A816 north from Kilmartin and, passing the B840 turn-off to Ford, park in the layby by the entrance to Tibertich, that is on the left. Opposite, an old stone wall meets the road to the right of an old quarry. Follow this upwards along a rough, grassy path-cum-track through a linear break in the forestry, a momentary glimpse of Creag a'Chapuill crowning the skyline above and beyond invoking an involuntary 'bloody hell' from this traveller. Now assuming you don't 'go walkabout' the route, following the same line, eventually emerges upon a forestry track, the hillfort nowhere to be seen. Head left here and, at the track terminus, veer right to double back on a parallel course through the trees. If you're on the money the hillfort will eventually tower above to your right, with a barbed wire-lined drystone wall to left. Clamber up as best you can and simply savour what must be one of Kilmartin's least known, but most spectacular major sites. Hey, Loch Awe never looked so good.
Ardifuir (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Folklore
My favourite type of folklore - rock art folklore. Or at least, I think it's a fair guess to say that's what this story refers to.
The Hoof-prints of Scota's Steed at Ardifour Point.
At the mouth of Loch Craignish, but on the Kilmartin side of the loch, is the farm of Ardifour. One side of this farm faces Loch Craignish, and another Loch Crinan. Between the two lochs is a point where there are deep indentations in the rock, which bear some remote resemblance to the hoof-prints of a horse. How were these formed? A geologist could easily answer the question; but legend also has its own way of solving the difficulty.
Scota, the daughter of Pharoah, King of Egypt, came over from Ireland, and having entered the mouth of Loch Crinan, drew up her ship opposite Ardifour Point. She then mounted her steed, shook the reins, and thus urged the high-mettled animal to spring from the deck on to the distant point; and so violent was the shock that the hoofs of the horse sank deeply into the rock, and left behind them those marks which are still to be seen at Ardifour.
From 'Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition' (Argyllshire series) by Archibald Campbell (1889).
Rock art UK's photo here isn't totally unlike four hoofmarks?