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Iona, Blar Buidhe

Cairn (Prehistoric), Corn Drying Kiln (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name Iona, Blar Buidhe

Classification Cairn (Prehistoric), Corn Drying Kiln (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Canmore ID 21628

Site Number NM22SE 20

NGR NM 2856 2466

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/21628

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilfinichen And Kilvickeon
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM22SE 20 2856 2466

A cairn contained within a square, stone-walled enclosure lies "at

the end of a narrow flat" (? the vallum ditch) north of the granary (NM22SE 6).

T Pennant 1774.

NM285 244 What was thought to be a Bronze Age ring cairn was found by JVS Megaw (1957) in 1954 on the east side of Iona near the village. It was located and planned in 1958 (Burley and Fowler 1958) but in 1959 was re-interpreted as a collapsed corn-drying kiln (Thomas 1959).

A C Thomas and J V S Megaw 1957; E Burley and P J Fowler 1958; A C Thomas 1959.

This supposed cairn could not be located but at NM 2856 2466 is a ruined kiln to which Pennant may be referring.

Visited by OS (J P) 8 June 1972.

It is not certain where this corn-drying kiln is located but it may

be the ruined kiln at NM 2856 2466.

Visited by OS (RD) 8 June 1972.

NM 284 243 Cairn, Blar Buidhe: Immediately E of the bluff behind Blar Buidhe and 60m W of the St Columba Hotel, there is a cairn (see RCAHMS plan {1980}) measuring 6.9m by 5.8m and 1m in height. Now a grass-covered mound, it formerly had a kerb of large boulders, only two of which, both about 1m high, are in situ; five others have been uprooted and are lying near by. Embedded in the cairn on the E side is a boulder measuring 1m by 0.3m; it does not appear to be part of a cist, and its significance is uncertain. A plan made by Dryden in 1875 (information from NMRS manuscript MS28 {SAS 7}) shows a trench in the centre, but no further details are known of this excavation. The structure has been wrongly interpreted (see above) as a ring-cairn, or a corn-drying kiln. Without further excavation, however, its exact nature cannot be determined.

Visited May 1974.

RCAHMS 1980a; 1982a.

Site recorded by AOC (Scotland) Ltd during an archaeological survey of the lands controlled by the National Trust for Scotland on Iona. This survey was conducted in late May and early April of 1996. The full report of this survey has been deposited with both the local SMR and the NMRS.

NM 2845 2436 Kiln

Sponsor: National Trust for Scotland

T Rees 1996

Activities

Antiquarian Observation (1774)

A cairn contained within a square, stone-walled enclosure lies "at

the end of a narrow flat" (? the vallum ditch) north of the granary (NM22SE 6).

T Pennant 1774.

Antiquarian Observation (September 1875)

Field Visit (8 June 1972)

It is not certain where this corn-drying kiln is located but it may be the ruined kiln at NM 2856 2466.

Visited by OS (RD) 8 June 1972.

Field Visit (8 June 1972)

This supposed cairn could not be located but at NM 2856 2466 is a ruined kiln (NM22SE 20) to which Pennant may be referring.

Visited by OS (J P) 8 June 1972.

Field Visit (May 1974)

Cairn, Blar Buidhe NM 284 243

Immediately E of the bluff behind Blar Buidhe and 60m W of the St Columba Hotel, there is a cairn measuring 6.9m by 5.8m and 1m in height. Now a grass-covered mound, it formerly had a kerb of large boulders, only two of which, both about 1m high, are in situ; five others have been uprooted and are lying nearby. A plan prepared by Sir Henry Dryden in 1875 (1), which shows a trench running across the centre of the cairn from NW to SE, indicates that some excavations took place over a hundred years ago, but no further details are known. Embedded in the SE quadrant there is a boulder 1m long and 0.3m thick; it does not appear to be part of a cist and as it is not shown on Dryden's plan it may be a relatively recent addition.

Earlier interpretations of the structure include the suggestions that it is a ring-cairn, or a collapsed corn-drying kiln (2); although it may be akin to the class known as kerb-cairns, found for example on Mull (3), the kerb-stones of such cairns are usually contiguous. Without further excavation, therefore, its exact nature cannot be determined.

RCAHMS 1982, visited May 1974.

1. Dryden MS 7. The cairn was at that time known locally as Tigh Fhinn ('Finn's House'). Ancient burial-mounds were often associated with the Irish hero Finn, e.g. Greadal Fhinn, Ardnamurchan (Inventory of Argyll, 3, No. 3), but the name of this cairn may have been suggested by its location in Blar Buidhe ('yellow field'), since the Gaelic tale recounting the adventures of Finn in the house of the Irish giant Blar Buidhe was still current in Argyll in the 19th century (cf. MacDougall, J, Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition, 3; Folk and Hero Tales (1891), 56-75).

2. DES (1957), 11 ; DES (1958), 15 ; DES (1959), 11.

3. E.g. Inventory of Argyll, 3, Nos. 10 (1 and 2) and 32; PSAS, 106 (1974-5), 30-3.

Field Visit (April 1996 - May 1996)

Site recorded by AOC (Scotland) Ltd during an archaeological survey of the lands controlled by the National Trust for Scotland on Iona. This survey was conducted in late May and early April of 1996. The full report of this survey has been deposited with both the local SMR and the NMRS.

NM 2845 2436 Kiln

Sponsor: National Trust for Scotland

T Rees 1996

Watching Brief (17 January 2017 - 20 January 2017)

NM 28838 25566, NM 28800 25424, NM 28520 24682 – NM 28520 24722, NM 28484 24332, NM 28320 23919 – NM 28349 23883, NM 27959 23603 – NM 27993 23622, NM 28083 23447 Watching briefs were undertaken, 17–20 January 2017, during excavations for replacement poles on overhead power lines and for earth-cable trenches at various locations on Iona. Nothing of archaeological significance was encountered in any of the trenches.

Archive and report: NRHE

Funder: SSEN

John Lewis – Scotia Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

Reference

NM285 244 What was thought to be a Bronze Age ring cairn was found by JVS Megaw (1957) in 1954 on the east side of Iona near the village. It was located and planned in 1958 (Burley and Fowler 1958) but in 1959 was re-interpreted as a collapsed corn-drying kiln (Thomas 1959).

A C Thomas and J V S Megaw 1957; E Burley and P J Fowler 1958; A C Thomas 1959.

References

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