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


Chambered Cairn


Alas! Poor Auchnaha may well have been 'christianised' for our sins, or whatever, but the pious act of vandalism didn't exactly do it any favours in the preservation stakes, did it? Survive for millennia upon your hilltop and then have a great big ruddy tree fall on you once you've been suitably 'blessed'. OK, I may well be compressing the time-frame somewhat, but it's a valid point, is it not?

This is another of Scotland's obscure sites, as Greywether and Postie make clear (was it really so recent Postie?), very much hidden away in a boggy forestry clearing above the quiet - very quiet - eastern flank of Loch Fyne. The B8000 wiggles and weaves along said coastline to allow the motorist to get within striking distance of the monument, but upon parking near Auchnaha House one gets a distinct feeling of being an unwelcome guest. Private Estate signs abound, the hillside barred by a seriously tall wire fence. However further investigation reveals this to end before the forest line to my right, leaving a corridor of forestry devastation to overcome for anyone thinking of coming this way.

As it happens, I do, but all the clambering and whatnot results in me initially missing sight of the little standing stone guiding visitors to the clearing. However I backtrack and there it is... at first appearing simply to be a jumble of overgrown stones.... with a great big ruddy christmas tree on top! However orientate yourself and have a wander and a large inner and outer chamber (with slipped capstone), together with numerous orthostats from what must have once been an impressive facade materialise from the chaos. Moss and lichen are having a field day, as are the midges in the damp, humid atmosphere.... cue the usual improvised head gear, so no 'scale' shots in order to preserve what may still serve me as a reputation. Baldrick would've been proud... perhaps I could swop it for a visit from Time Team? A much more worthy cause than another bleedin' R*man villa. Yawn.

Despite the state of the site, the sense of isolation here, together with the substantial remains give Auchnaha a true 'I'm glad I came' feel. Hang in there girl, hang in there.
8th June 2010ce
Edited 8th June 2010ce

Comments (5)

More terrific fieldnotes Mr G. These neglected sites are often the most satisfying to visit, although perhaps a little less neglect might improve them further?! thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
9th June 2010ce
could I ask when you visited? when I visited a few weeks ago it was looking a bit more sorry for its self. Posted by weaselett
30th June 2010ce
Hi Weaselett... 20th May.

Don't tell me anything else has dropped on it?
30th June 2010ce
It's just a bit more overgrown so it looks a bit worse and is a bit harder to spot Posted by weaselett
1st July 2010ce
Sounds like we need some TMA gardening, then. I'll see if The Forestry Commission are aware. GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
1st July 2010ce
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