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Giants' Graves

Chambered Cairn


It was summer 1988 when I first visited this site. I'd approached it through deep plantation forestry and endured the clouds of firey midges which hung in biting clouds around it. Visits in the 1990's were no better. There were no views or any way to understand where this cairn stood in its landscape. All changed now!
The best way to approach these large Clyde Type Chambered Cairns is to follow the Glenashdale Falls path. Dont go up the steep signposted path if you want to avoid an excruciating climb! It is much gentler to walk on up to the falls and is really not much longer. You should walk the path right up to the falls then take a left along the smooth flat forest road which takes you around the hill. It makes for very easy walking and you are met with a spectacular view of the cairns as they sit in profile on the crest of their terrace with the Ayrshire coast behind them. The forestry has been completely clear felled allowing some wonderful viewing. You then walk down a gentle path on your left to the cairns.
The southern chambered cairn is aligned east/ west and looks directly to the black flat topped volcanic plug of Mochrum Hill near Maybole. These plugs/ igneous intrusions stretch from Scotland's West Coast to East Coast taking in Ailsa Craig, Mochrum Hill, Tinto Hill, Arthur's Seat, Bass Rock and the Lomond Hills.
The north chambered cairn sits on a north/ south axis and although only the massive cists are left in the centre, there are still large stones marking where the "horns" came out to. Views to the barbed peaks of Goatfell and Cir Mhor to the north are spectacular. If you are wondering where all the many tons of removed cairn material went... then on you way down the steep winding path look to your right and see the beautiful dry stane dyke which runs across the hillside! There's your cairn!
While munching a fish supper with my Mrs and kid the following evening, we could see the stumps of the north cairn from the path out to King's Cross Point in Whiting Bay far below. In its original state the cairn would have been very visible.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
11th July 2010ce
Edited 11th July 2010ce

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