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


Sacred Hill


August 1998, Dunadd, Argyll.
We finally met its imposing presence in August '98. Driving down the A816 from our campsite to the North of the megalithic wonderland of Kilmartin, the country suddenly opens up across the Moine Mhor with the River Add twisting and turning its way through the great plain of peat and marsh. The road passes Dunadd, but we are Southbound just now and decide to visit the site later in the evening when the car-loads have all emptied away. The name of Dunadd has haunted me for years, I had read much about this sacred hill of the Picts and images of the boar, foot-print and Ogham script have stayed in my minds eye.
Early on an August evening and I'm finally driving to the base of Dunadd and once in the car park I'm doing my best not to just run to the top! I start to walk up the hill deliberately slowly, carefully and quietly-images flick through my mind from the presentation we had seen the day before in Kilmartin House-images of spectral hooded figures. Up through the ridges of fortification we reach the top and I go off looking for the rock carvings managing to ignore the amazing views for the moment. I find the footprint, take off my boots and socks- but alas- my foot is too big! Kat does the same and it's a perfect fit- the good old Pictish female line! The boar is nearby, but is slowly sinking back into the rock of it's creation with the hundreds of years of weathering, the snout and front two legs just still remaining. Atop Dunadd after many years of waiting and all I fell is sadness. I maybe secretly expected enlightenment, but no- just sadness. I'm not disappointed- no way- this place is amazing, but....
I go and sit on the Westerly side and watch the River Add. My Pictish serpent tattoo reverberates in recognition of the earthly pattern laid out before me. I could watch this river for an age.
Posted by Martin
1st April 2000ce

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