Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset


Burial Cairn (Bronze Age), Food Vessel Urn (Bronze Age)

Site Name Carnassarie

Classification Burial Cairn (Bronze Age), Food Vessel Urn (Bronze Age)

Canmore ID 22837

Site Number NM80SW 21

NGR NM 8338 0067

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2024.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmartin
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes ( - 1971)

NM80SW 21 8338 0067.

(NM 8338 0067) Cairn (NR).

OS 1:10,000 map, (1974)

About 140 yards SW of the standing stones (NM80SW 22), and on the eastern slope of hillside rising from the west side of Kilmartin Glen, stand the remains of a cairn. Before excavation in 1930 the cairn measured 90' by 93' and had a maximum height of 8'3". During excavation, a cist measuring 3'11" by 2'1" and 1'6" deep was found about 14 feet SSE of centre. The cover, which lay about a foot below the surface, measured 6'1" by 4'6" by 8". The cist contained a tripartite type food vessel (now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland [NMAS] - Accession no. HPO6), some charcoal and some ochre. More charcoal and two flint fragments were found outside the cist.

The cairn had no surrounding ring of boulders, but a partial ring of large boulders within the cairn was traced. Most of the area covered by the cairn had a paving of boulders.

M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964; J H Craw 1931.

The cairn now measures about 30 metres NE-SW by 27 metres transversely, and stands about 1-3 metres high. It has been severely robbed and mutilated and no trace of a cist or kerb can be seen.

Surveyed at 1:2500 scale.

Visited by OS (R D) 12 October 1971.


Field Visit (June 1982)

Situated about 135m SSW of the standing stones (NM80SW 22), there is a severely denuded cairn measuring about 25m in diameter and 1.3m in height; before excavation in 1930 it is reported to have been some 2.5m high and to have been already heavily robbed. Craw discovered a cist about 4.3m SSE of the centre; it was aligned NW and SE and was covered by a large slab (1.85m by 1.37m and 0.2m thick). The cist measured 1.2m by 0.6m and 0.45m in depth and contained a Food Vessel, charcoal and ochre; it had been carefully paved with water-worn pebbles. Further charcoal and a piece of flint were found outside the cist, and another flint was discovered in the S part of the cairn. The Food Vessel is now in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Queen Street, Edinburgh. An arc of twenty boulders, possibly the kerb of an earlier cairn or a constructional feature within the mound, was found at the base of the cairn.

Visited June 1982


Field Visit (April 2017)

NR 82990 99085 (centred on) A walkover survey was undertaken, April 2017, in advance of woodland planting. All the archaeological sites identified within the area should be preserved in situ and protected from damage by a buffer zone.

NR 82830 99750 – Clearance cairn (6 x 5m, 0.5m high).

Bracken covered rounded cobbles located on flat, previously cultivated ground.

NR 82753 99804 – Clearance cairn (3 x 2m, 0.20m high). Located over bedrock exposure.

NR 82768 99836 – Clearance cairn (1x 2m, 0.1m high). Located over bedrock exposure.

NR 82854 99809 – Clearance cairn – Irregular clearance scattered over rock outcrop.

NR 82876 99819 – Bank (1m wide and 0.3m high), oriented N/S.

NR 82976 99894 – Structure (30m long, 6m wide). Stone built ruin, S end almost intact, gable ended. N end barely visible. Number of different buildings. Enclosure on E side (outwith boundary). Mortared walls. Window and doorway blocked up. Fireplace. On 1st Edition OS map.

NM 82910 00037 – Shallow U-shaped stone quarry (20 x 10m).

NM 82943 00089 – Bank (0.9m wide and 0.5m high), oriented E/W. The bank runs across the site.

NM 83179 00330 – Pond/sluice – Shown on 1st Edition OS map. Metal rods of sluice visible.

NM 832235 00378 – Stone and earthen wall, oriented NNE/ SSW (0.9m wide and 0.2m high).

NM 83530 00675 – Clearance cairn (10 x 3m) with remains of twinning pen within.

NM 83521 00592 – Curvilinear bank (2m wide and 0.5m high), better preserved further to the W.

NM 83431 00423 – Rectangular enclosure (1m wide and 0.6m high). Boulder wall, single boulder high.

NM 83390 00543 – Rock quarry, old rock face, spoil on E side.

NM 83471 00606 – Bank (1.2m wide and 1 cobble high).

Faint earthen and stone bank, made from large cobbles. Runs S to wall at NM 83449 00577.

NM 83544 00781 – Clearance cairn (3 x 4m, 0.2m high). Set against ridge of bedrock.

NM 83549 00828 – Quarry for track, located at end of a ridge of rock.

NM 83456 00794 – Two standing stones as described on Canmore.

NM 83386 00685 – Very large burial cairn, as described on Canmore. Early modern twinning pen within the cairn. A wall runs just to the S of the cairn.

NM 83365 00634 – Clearance cairn, 5 x 1m, 0.3m high.

NM 83384 00608 – Clearance cairn, 4 x 4m, 0.7m high.

NM 83383 00589 – Stone and earthen field boundary (1 stone high, 0.7m wide), oriented E/W.

NM 83300 00785 – Previously identified as cup-marked rock – natural, 1 cup 6 x 6mm on glacial boulder. None of the others as in Canmore description are visible.

NM 83706 00799 – Wall (0.5 x 0.4m) Ruined stone wall. Oriented ESE/WNW.

Funder: Scottish Woodlands Ltd

Clare Ellis – Argyll Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 18)


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions