Arran, Monamore, Meallach's Grave

Chambered Cairn

Site Name Arran, Monamore, Meallach's Grave

Classification Chambered Cairn

Canmore ID 40086

Site Number NS02NW 10

NGR NS 01752 28890

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council North Ayrshire
  • Parish Kilbride
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cunninghame
  • Former County Buteshire

Archaeology Notes

NS02NW 10 01752 28890.

(NS 0173 2888) Meallach's Grave (NAT)

(Cairn) (NR).

OS 6" map, (1924)

Meallach's Grave: Clyde group, long cairn. This cairn has been greatly robbed and its edges are indefinite, the whole area now being turf-covered. The cairn material remains about 3' high round the chamber. The extent of the cairn was approximately established in 1961 by probing (MacKie 1966). It seems to have been more or less trapezoidal about 45ft long from the portal stones, widening to a maximum width of about 35ft at 14ft behind the facade. A cutting running SE from the centre of the chamber showed at the edge of the cairn several slabs which may have fallen from a kerb of dry-stone walling. The cairn was composed of large irregular stones and earth.

At the SW end of the cairn, an impressive facade was revealed in the 1961 excavations. It measures 26ft 9 ins across, consisting of 8 orthostats set in a shallow and somewhat irregular curve about 3ft 6ins deep. They were linked by dry walling, still standing up 2ft 4ins high. A thick deposit of grey earth and accumulated in the forecourt, to a depth of 2-3ft against the facade. In it were 21 spreads of charcoal, and many scattered fragments at varying depths. A sill-stone 1ft 2ins deep, was firmly wedged between the portals. In front of the sill-stone was a small paved area. Over the grey earth was a deliberate blocking, of stones in brown earth; its upper surface formed a rough pavement. Two radiocarbon dates were obtained from charcoal in the grey soil deposits. The earlier, from near the base of the deposit, gave a date of 3160 +/- 110 BC, the later, laid down shortly before the blocking, gave a date of 2240 +/- 110 BC.

The chamber was excavated in 1902 (b). It measures 13ft 3ins by from 2ft 9ins to 4ft 6ins and is divided into 3 compartments. The artifacts found in the 1961 excavations are in the Hunterian Museum; they comprise pottery sherds (A 1961 13, 19 and 20), flint blade (A 1961 18) flint scraper (A 1961 12), pitchstone and quartz fragments (A 1961 22) and a later blue dumb-bell shaped glass bead (A 1961 61). Items found in 1902 are in the NMAS: pottery sherds and pitchstone fragments (EO 272).

T H Bryce 1903; E W MacKie 1967; A S Henshall 1972, visited 1972.

NS 01762 8888. Meallach's Grave (name confirmed) is a Chambered Cairn as described by Miss Henshall.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (B S) 28 November 1977.

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