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


Chambered Cairn


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

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