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Islay

<b>Islay</b>Posted by MerrickPort Ellen © Annwen
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Sites in this group:

9 posts
Achnancarranan Standing Stones
10 posts
An Dunan Hillfort
11 posts
The Ard Promontory Fort
12 posts
Ardilistry Stone Circle
3 posts
Ardnave Loch Crannog
17 posts
1 site
Ballinaby (south) Standing Stone / Menhir
10 posts
Ballynaughton Chambered Cairn
11 posts
Barr An T-Seann Duine Promontory Fort
6 posts
Branhunisary Standing Stone / Menhir
7 posts
Caisteal Mhic Dhomhnuill Cairn(s)
3 posts
Callumkill Cairn(s)
12 posts
Carnduncan Cairn(s)
11 posts
Carragh Bhan Standing Stone / Menhir
10 posts
Clachan Ceann Ile Standing Stone / Menhir
9 posts
Cnoc Mor Ghrasdail Cairn(s)
2 posts
Cnoc nan Guaillean Standing Stone / Menhir
2 posts
1 site
Cnoc nan Nathrach Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
11 posts
Cnoc Seannda Cairn(s)
7 posts
Coille A'chnoic Mhoir Standing Stone / Menhir
7 posts
Cornabus Standing Stone / Menhir
18 posts
Cragabus Chambered Tomb
10 posts
Creagan Na Ceardaich Moire Hillfort
44 posts
Cultoon Stone Circle
6 posts
Druim Mor Standing Stone / Menhir
12 posts
Druim nam Madagan (Torradale) Chambered Tomb
16 posts
Dun An Rudha Bhuide Stone Fort / Dun
16 posts
Dun A Chail Stone Fort / Dun
10 posts
Dun Dearg Stone Fort / Dun
1 post
Dun Fhinn Stone Fort / Dun
3 posts
Dun Nosebridge Hillfort
3 posts
Eilean Mhuireill Crannog
4 posts
Eilean Na Comhairle Stone Fort / Dun
12 posts
Finlaggan Standing Stone / Menhir
10 posts
Frachdale Chambered Cairn
4 posts
Gartacharra Standing Stone / Menhir
6 posts
Glac A' Charraigh Standing Stone / Menhir
4 posts
Glasgo Beag Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork
13 posts
Kilbride Standing Stone / Menhir
11 posts
Kilchiaran Cup Marked Stone
11 posts
Knocklearoch Standing Stones
5 posts
Lagavulin Standing Stone / Menhir
3 posts
Loch Ballygrant Crannog
15 posts
Port Charlotte Chambered Tomb
16 posts
Port Ellen Standing Stone / Menhir
11 posts
Sron Dubh Promontory Fort
9 posts
Sruthan Na Cille Stone Fort / Dun
4 posts
Suidh' An Eoin Mor Standing Stone / Menhir
6 posts
Tayandock Standing Stone / Menhir
8 posts
Trudernish Standing Stone / Menhir
2 posts
Trudernish Point Promontory Fort
16 posts
Uiskentuie Standing Stone / Menhir
8 posts
1 site
Upper Cragabus Cairn(s)
Sites of disputed antiquity:
6 posts
Tobar na Dabhaich Sacred Well

Latest posts for Islay

Showing 1-10 of 482 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

Achnancarranan (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

The last site of this visit was also one of the best and also one of the saddest.

Of the four stones that once stood at Achnancurran, Canmore says three, once again one of the locals said four, local knowledge, I find, is always a good thing, only 2 stand, with 1 fallen and another lying just to the south dumped and smashed to pieces.

Stone rows seem to have been reasonably popular in this part of the world and this can easily be compared to Carragh A' Ghlinne on Jura.

The northern stone stands at 2.7m and the south stone would stand at 2.8m if it was upright. This stone needs help as it stands at a very jaunty angle, without help it will end up like the central stone. This stone would have stood at around 3m in height. A great site but in dire need of help.

Head back to Ballynaughton Chamber Cairn from An Dunan then head west, till a tractor track is found then head south. Go over a wee hill then head west again, the site will be straight in front of you situated at the end of a field.

From An Dunan we pondered about heading to Cnoc An Altair, another chamber cairn, common sense for a change won as the sun was beginning to set. A perfect setting for Achancarranan and perfect way to end, this visit, to Islay.

Visited 3/8/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th March 2019ce

An Dunan (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

An Dunan is a superbly situated fort with superb all round views, equally good was the wind direction taking the wondrous smells of the Lagavulin Distillery to our noses :-)

From the Ballynaughton Chamber Cairn head north using the rough track cut into the hill. Keep going north and head downhill, jump the small burn onto the boggy land then go north east to the easily spotted site. Fortunately the mornings heavy rain had missed this area so underfoot conditions were reasonably good, dryish.

By pure chance we found the entrance in the south west so the climb to the top was easy. Traces of wall surround the fort, its builders making good use of the natural rock face as well. The wall can be best seen to east and west sides, I disagree with Canmore as I found tumble down wall on the north side swinging east protecting the site which is 50m by 20m.

A great site!

Visited 3/8/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th March 2019ce

Ballynaughton (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

After fair time at Druim Mor we kept heading north to head of the dyke, then headed west following a fence till it met a dyke which headed north. Follow this until it ends and keep heading north over slightly rougher ground. Look for a gap in hill in front, the chamber cairn is just to the west.

One of several Clyde type chamber cairns, hardly any of the cairn material remains, presumably why there are dry stane dykes in the area. Better than me explaining I'll let Canmore explain :

This cairn is situated 300m w of the ruins of Ballynaughton More on a relatively narrow strip of almost level rough

grazing bounded by arable Fields to the SE and by a rocky ridge to the NW. Only a little cairn material remains, now

almost completely overgrown, but as shown on the plan it appears to extend intermittently over an area measuring

about 20m from NE to sw by a maximum of 10m transversely; whatever its precise size may originally have

been, it seems likely that the cairn was trapezoidal in shape, with a breadth of not more than 16m at the broader (NE) end and a length of at least 20 m.

Entered from the NE, the roofless chamber is about 6m long and up to l-5m wide internally, and is divided by

transverse septal slabs into four compartments. Immediately N of the entrance there is a pointed stone, I m high above

ground level, which may be one of a pair of portal stones; what appears to be its fallen partner would, if erect, occupy a corresponding position at the s side of the entrance. Most of the slabs forming the chamber are massive blocks, now-

exposed up to 0-9 m above ground: during excavations carried out in 1901 ' it was found that the surviving side-slabs

of the two outermost compartments were standing to a Ileight of as much as 1 -42 m above the floor. Although at least

two side-slabs are missing, it can be seen that the chamber decreases in width towards the rear. from a maximum of

about l-5m to 0-6 m at the back of the innermost compartment. Likewise the compartments contract both in

length and height, and the innermost is evidently a less substantial structure than the others, only the tops of its

stones being at present visible at turf level. The septal stones rise almost to the same height as the side-slabs they support and the disposition of the side-slabs shows the successive overlapping (or imbrication) characteristic of chambered cairns of Clyde type.

The chamber contains a layer of debris about 0.6m deep, but when emptied in 1901 it was filled with stones and soil from which were recovered a chert flake and one tiny fragment of burnt bone; the discovery of a hoard of coins, dating from the mid-15th to mid-16th centuries AD, which lay hidden in the E corner of the third compartment, suggested to the excavator that the chamber had already been disturbed and rifled by the time the hoard was deposited. All the finds are lost.


Now I liked this site, it has atmosphere with superb views to the south, east and west. Like a lot of these places it would worth a trip back in time to see what they really looked like.

At least the chamber remains, after a good look round it was time to press on.

Visited 3/8/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th March 2019ce

Druim Mor (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

From the Lagavulin Stone keep heading east until you reach some farm huts, follow the track north over the wee hill and keep going. The huge stone set in what is now a dyke line is called Druim Mor, certainly by the locals who we spoke to. Canmore also call this stone Lagavulin.

This stone stands at a massive 3.5m in height and a dry stane dyke has been built to incorporate its ancient friend. I love these stones especially when covered lichen, this chap appeared to have had a shave at some point. Now we approached from the east side of the wall and did't notice it had a fallen friend of similar size.

However we didn't know so onwards we marched towards our next site. So far walking conditions were excellent!

Visited 3/8/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th March 2019ce

Lagavulin (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Rumours that I park only near distilleries are true as we finally parked for the final walk of this trip at the magical Lagavulin Distillery.

From here it is an easy walk following the track east until the stone becomes visible sitting on top of what looks a small cairn. It looks more like stones have been cleared from the field and dumped beside the standing stone. Over the years the gaps have filled in and it now almost appears to a small kerb cairn. Canmore also appear to be confused.

The stone stands at 1m tall having no markings. Worth a visit as it is the gateway to more prehistoric sites.

Visited 3/8/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th March 2019ce

Dun Dearg (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Dun Dearg must have been some place when it was used as there is a huge amount of stones still partially built, some strewn, some made into a modern cairn and some have fallen over the southern cliff. It was from the south I made my ascend, a short but very steep climb up slippery rocks. However after about 15 minutes from the bottom I was looking south to the glorious view of Ardbeg Distillery.

The normal entry, nowadays, to the dun would have been from the north were the remains of walls can be still be seen. Some of the wall is made from massive blocks which lead to a small gap in the south east. In Iron Age times this would have been the most likely entry and it provided my path down, much safer than the path I took up. These walls protect the interior which would have been 21m by 14m.

This must have been a tremendous place, it still is. From the distillery at Ardbeg take the farm track to Callumkill. Pull in just before the farm, look north behind the houses and the modern cairn can be seen.

How you get up is up to you :-)

Visited 3/8/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th March 2019ce

Kilbride (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Kilbride Standing Stone marked the start of the final of hike of this Islay/Jura trip. From Port Ellen head east and take the first minor road heading north, this takes you past the Port Ellen and Branhunisary Standing Stones, keep going until the road ends at Kilbride Farm.

Look south, through the gate, up a small slope and the site with its glorious views south. Kilbride stands at almost 3m tall proving to be a superb starting point for the final evening hike.

Visited 3/8/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th March 2019ce

Cnoc Nan Nathrach (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Fieldnotes

On the way back from Ardnave we rejoined the B8017 and headed east until the 2nd minor road which heads straight east, the b8017 takes a sharp turn south. Keep going until the minor road heads south, take the first track which heads west to the farm at Lagostan, plenty room to park.

From here its follow the track past some ruined 'ferm toun' houses, head south westish over the heather, boggy in parts but on this occasion no falling in.

There are two barrows here :

NR 2982 6462

The largest barrow at 9m wide being almost 1m tall. There does appear to be some kerbage. The stones at the top might be the remains of a cist.

NR 2583 6465

The smaller of the two barrows is almost 5m wide and 0.5m tall.

Not much to see except the glorious views all round, stunning place. Nearby forts can wait till next year as we had an appointment with an old friend at Bowmore.

Visited 3/8/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
19th March 2019ce

Ardnave Loch (Crannog) — Fieldnotes

I love driving to the end of roads, especially on the islands. After having some lunch we headed north leaving the B8017 at Gruinart, near the nature reserve following the minor to its end at Ardnave Loch.

The 40m wide crannog can be reached by a causeway, almost 6m wide. A mound near the centre measures at 10m wide 0.6m tall. I couldn't see any of the cists or slabs mentioned by Canmore and I didn't see any of the stepping stones. Nobody here can see them either, as once again I proceeded to get to the site only to discover that I'd left the camera in the car.

The walk from the info boards at Ardnave is very easy and flat, the causeway clearly visible. Wear wellington boots. When heading south make sure to visit the Kilnave Chapel and it's eerie shaped cross.

On we go.

Visited 3/82018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
12th March 2019ce

Barr An T-Seann Duine (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

It started to cloud over as I arrived at Barr An T-Seann Duine but the clouds didn't hang around for long leaving the site dry. The rain from earlier at Cornabus fortunately had not reached here. It was bone dry.

From Port Ellen follow the A846, somehow pass Laphroaig, and take the second proper road heading south. This leads to what appears to be a small industrial estate so plenty room to park. The site cannot be missed, it is straight in front.

The fort is easily reached following a small track on the east side which leads to the middle of the site. This, to me, seemed the best place for an entrance as well. The fort covers an area of 90m by 60m and is roughly circular. Additional defences are helped by steep sided slopes to the west and east. There is a lot of fallen wall to the west, and parts of wall surround the whole site. The forts interior isn't very flat, the remnants of much more recent buildings maybe are the cause of this. The highest point is marked by the usual climber's cairn.

Another cracking wee fort with stunning views south, sacred views east and west, Lagavulin and Laphroaig.

Visited 3/8/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
12th March 2019ce
Showing 1-10 of 482 posts. Most recent first | Next 10