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Chambered Cairn

<b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Also known as:
  • Adam's Cave
  • Adam's Grave

Nearest Town:Dunoon (3km SSE)
OS Ref (GB):   NS162800 / Sheet: 63
Latitude:55° 58' 39.49" N
Longitude:   4° 56' 45.98" W

Added by greywether

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Photographs:<b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by greywether <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by greywether <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by greywether <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by greywether <b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by greywether Artistic / Interpretive:<b>Ardnadam</b>Posted by Rhiannon


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Visited 2.8.16

Follow Mr G's advice although I would add that it is not a water works you pass but in fact an electricity sub power station. If you continue walking along the track you will pass stables on your left and a field gate is immediately on your right - this allows easy access to the site.

Well, here I am again in the footsteps of Mr G - a little over two weeks since he was here. It's a small world!

There is little I can add to Mr G's fine notes other than when Dafydd peered under the capstone he was convinced he could see cup and ring marks! As you can imagine I got very excited about this and eagerly tried to see for myself. Much trampling down of vegetation and lying on the floor at various angles followed. Unfortunately all I could see was the natural uneven contours of the stone. However, Dafydd is still convinced the marks are there. I think he is mistaken but his eyesight is better than mine to be fair! Perhaps another TMAer can visit and confirm I am right? :)

Either was this is a fine tomb to visit and one which is easy enough to access. The ground is likley to be boggy in wet wheather - bring yer boots.
Posted by CARL
3rd August 2016ce

Standing overlooking Holy Loch, an aesthetically pleasing north-westerly protuberance of The Firth of Clyde, I've been wanting to visit this particular Adam's Grave for some years now. Hey, seems bits of the poor, fabled sucker must have been interned all over the place back in the day. But there you are; that's what you get for crossing Yahweh. Or rather parasitical priests making a living out of superstition and ignorance. However the site has hitherto proved difficult to fit into a practical Gladman route heading north to The Highlands... until I find myself on the way to Bute this year.

The weather conditions are not ideal. I understand the small craft pootling up and down the loch below were, once upon a time - up until 1992, anyway - subject to accompaniment by the menacing presence of nuclear submarines of the US Navy, no doubt with Denzil Washington or, if you were really unlucky, Gene Hackman at the helm? Guess we've Mr Gorbachev to thank for that no longer being the case... although the way Putin's going, who knows what the future might bring? Anyway, such is the torrential downpour this afternoon that a megalithically-inclined traveller may be forgiven for casting envious glances at occupants of distant marine craft. At least of the surface variety. However since I'm finally here it would be pretty dumb not to grasp the opportunity, taking the minor right hand turn (heading south on the main A885) just before the school to park up near a (signposted) picnic site.

Lacking boat, I set off on foot following the road north westwards past some waterworks (yeah, very funny) whilst noting the monument, beyond to the right, standing proud upon a hillside seemingly devoted to matters of an exclusively equine nature. The field gate is unfastened, fences 'step over-able'.... the Clyde cairn (how could it be anything else sitting here?) sublime, well worth both the effort and the protracted wait. The cap stone, worn at a jaunty angle like all the best chambers, is a weighty slab of rock complemented by a pair of equally substantial portals. The overall impression is that of reassuring solidity, of being built to last which, needless to say, it has. The outlook toward the aforementioned Holy Loch is, for me, an integral part of an ethereal, multi-faceted vibe which seemingly hangs in the atmosphere like the mist threatening to subsume nearby woodland. Hey, even in a teeming downpour. I also think it is a stony sculpture of the highest merit.

Interestingly, as the Misc post states, the chamber was apparently the location of matrimonial rites in times gone by, thereby emphasising the significance attached to the site in local lore. Whatever other-worldly, metaphysical 'authority' was thought to reside here - whether or not Saint Munn had a say in matters is probably a moot point - clearly it was something not to be countermanded lightly.

Succinctly put, the monument that still resides here above the Holy Loch is - and always has been - a commanding presence within this landscape. A great place to be.
16th July 2016ce
Edited 17th July 2016ce

A ruined but pleasant chamber is all that remains of this Clyde cairn. It sits on a mound facing NE overlooking the Holy Loch.

Details with the photo captions.

Chambered cairns are probably the burial places of the group which farmed locally and a Neolithic domestic settlement has been found 1 km to the S.

Parking is available at the nearby Heritage Trail.

Visited 31 March 2004
greywether Posted by greywether
2nd April 2004ce
Edited 2nd April 2004ce


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On the south side of this Loch Seante, as this small inlet of water is called in Gaelic, at the village of Sandbank, there is an interesting old cromlech, which is known in the region as 'Adam's Grave.' [...] Lovers come from all parts of Cowal to make their vows at this old shrine. The lady has to creep into the recess formed by the stones, and, holding the hand of the gentleman, who stands at the entrance, he repeats in Gaelic a curious oath, and the spot is considered so sacred that a terrible fate is believed to befall anyone who should prove unfaithful to their troth when it has been thus plighted.
By H A Walker in the Daily News, June 7th 1878, reprinted in the 'Notes' section of 'The Folk-Lore Record', Vol. 1. (1878), p242.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th September 2006ce
Edited 24th September 2006ce