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Oscar's Grave

Chambered Cairn

Also known as:
  • Sliddery Water

Nearest Town:Campbeltown (22km WSW)
OS Ref (GB):   NR942234 / Sheets: 68, 69
Latitude:55° 27' 39.37" N
Longitude:   5° 15' 20.04" W

Added by Rhiannon

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In bygone days it is said a battle had been fought near Slidderie Water between Fionn's forces and some others. A great many were slain and buried near the field of slaughter.

This had become a dreaded place by the natives, as it was said to be haunted, owing to the ground having been tilled, which disturbed the rest of these dead warriors.

The shades of the dead that traversed these quiet regions in the lone hours of night were awesome in the extreme, and had evidently been visible not only to persons but also to animals; and the following instance is related.

A certain man had been on the road with his horse and cart, when without warning the horse stood still and would proceed no farther. His ears stood up, while he snorted and was sweating from evident fear. The reason of this soon became known, for there rose before the man's vision like as it were a small cloud or mist, which grew larger and larger till it became a great size, but it was not only a cloud; whether in it or of it the cloud had taken an uncanny form of a wraith.

This man had met this unwelcome thing more than once.
In The book of Arran, volume 2, by W.M. Mackenzie (1914), p252.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th October 2018ce
Edited 4th October 2018ce

On the bank of the river near Slidry, there is a long grave-like mound, distinguished by two large erect stones standing, the one at the head, the other at the foot, at an intervening distance of about 30 feet. This is supposed to be an elongated trench, in which the warriors slain in battle have been buried; tradition claims it as the grave of one of Fingal's heroes.
from 'On the Rude Unsculptured Monoliths and Ancient fortifications of the Island of Arran' by Mr John McArthur. In 'The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal' - v9, 1859.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th September 2007ce

On the bank of the Slidry stream, to the south of Arran, there is an elongated, ship-like cairn, exactly similar to the celebrated currach mound of Iona. It is thirty feet in length, with a smaller ridge attached, measuring nine feet. The sides of the tumuli are trenched with flat, flag-like stones, and at each end there stands a large monolith of red sandstone, encrusted with lichen and moss.

This monument is supposed to mark the grave of one of Fion-gal's heroes, about whom many strange stories are told. An anxious treasure-seeker who dug into the larger mound, is said to have found a huge bone, into the hollow of which he thrust down his foot and leg as into a boot.*

*Headrick's Arran, p148.
Headrick was writing in 1807: a book called 'View of the Mineralogy, Agriculture, Manufactures and Fisheries of the Isle of Arran'.

It sounds like the cairn suffered a lot in the 19th century. The RCAHMS record suggests remains still exist (though the name "couldn't be confirmed locally" in 1977).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th August 2007ce