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Cuff Hill

Chambered Tomb

<b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by greywetherImage © greywether
Also known as:
  • Beith rocking stone
  • St Inan's Chair

Nearest Town:Johnstone (9km NNE)
OS Ref (GB):   NS386551 / Sheet: 63
Latitude:55° 45' 43.81" N
Longitude:   4° 34' 21.6" W

Added by greywether

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<b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by markj99 <b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by greywether <b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by greywether <b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by greywether <b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by greywether <b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by greywether <b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by greywether <b>Cuff Hill</b>Posted by greywether


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Visited 14.07.21

Cuff Hill Cairn is difficult to find. The narrow lanes off the B777 E of Beith are un-signposted leading to Cuff Hill Reservoir. Head for KA15 2JW on the SatNav to reach Cuffhill Reservoir. There is space to park between Cuffhill and Kirkleegreen Reservoirs. Walk back to Cuffhill Reservoir to reach a path which winds along the W bank of the reservoir. This runs parallel to a deer fence. Close to the end of the reservoir there is a hollow below the fence big enough to wriggle under. Head N along the fence then c. 200 yards NNE through woodland to reach Cuff Hill Cairn at NS 3859 5509. The grid reference is taken from Canmore ID 42121 (go to Links), which has an extensive description of Cuff Hill Cairn.
Posted by markj99
15th July 2021ce

Went up to Chamber today...very difficult to gain access to the area round Cuff Hill, nearly impossible apart from the fact that my companion and I are fairly fit, and were able to climb the 10 ft deer fence surrounding Cuff Hill. The area has been planted with idea who you would approach about entry but talk in the Gateside Pub was that an Irishman owns the land....Good luck ye all...apart from that the area is sublime, water, birds, spring...absolutely beautiful.... Posted by raymay
17th May 2013ce
Edited 18th May 2013ce

This is a Bargrennan-style long cairn - the most northerly of all the Bargrennan cairns. Dimensions around 45m x 20m.

It runs NW/SE and three chambers are visible in the NW end. For ease, they are called NW, NE and S. The NW and NE chambers have one capstone each.

The site lies off a road between the Kirkleegreen and Cuffhill Reservoirs. There is parking at a boathouse at Kirkleegreen.

Visited 18 Feb 2004
greywether Posted by greywether
18th February 2004ce


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... Beith was the occasional residence of St Inan, a confessor of some celebrity, whose principal place of abode was at Irvine. He flourished about 839. On the Cuff Hill there is a cleft in the rock, which is still called St Inan's Chair; and, at a short distance from it, a well of excellent water, called St Inan's Well. From the Callendar of Scots Saints, we find that the festival of this saint was celebrated on the 18th of August; and to this day there is a fair at Beith, held on the corresponding day, old style. Tradition still bears that this fair used to be held on the Cuff Hill. It was removed to Beith after the town had increased in population, and become a more suitable place for a market. It is one of the principal fairs in the county. The fair is vulgarly pronounced Tenant's Day; but this is evidently a corruption arising from the final letter of Saint, being sounded with the name Inan. Similar corruptions occur in Tantony, which is a corruption of St Antony; and Taudrey, which is a corruption of St Audrey. [...]

But the Cuff Hill has antiquities much earlier than the days of St Inan. On the north declivity of the hill, there is a rocking-stone of considerable size, which can be set in motion by the slightest touch. This stone is of common trap.
From the New Statistical Account for Ayr and Bute (1845).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th May 2010ce
Edited 25th May 2010ce


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Cuff Hill was hacked into for road material in the early 19th century. Burl quotes a local farmer who indignantly observed "These curious and interesting relics of antiquity, the mercenary and boorish labourers are breaking and undoing with the most unfeeling apathy."

(in 'Rites of the Gods' 1981 - no particular source mentioned?)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th January 2006ce


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Canmore ID 42121

Cuff Hill Cairn on Canmore.
Posted by markj99
15th July 2021ce