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Barmore Wood

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Barmore Wood

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 23378

Site Number NN00SE 12

NGR NN 0582 0496

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NN00SE 12 0582 0496.

NN 058 050. Chambered Cairn, Barmore Wood: This Clyde-type long cairn is at c. 150' OD, on an elongated natural mound covered by thin woodland. The cairn has been almost entirely removed, though an edge can be traced along the SE side at the NE end, about 17' from the NE chamber. There are the remains of two chambers set along the same axis, 63' apart, originally entered from each end of the cairn, implying that it was about 94' long. Cairn material remains 2' of 3' deep around the chambers. The foundations of a small building lie immediately outside the NE chamber, with one wall built across the entrance to that chamber. There is no sign of any facade at either end of the cairn. The SW chamber was excavated in 1963; it was found to be greatly ruined and had previously been dug out. A septal slab divides the chamber, but has been partly smashed. The NE chamber, at least 16' long, is built with two pairs of massive side slabs. Excavation found the stump of the back-slab. The chamber is divided into two compartments by a massive septal slab, the inner compartment measuring 6' by 4'. Artifacts found included pottery sherds, a flint flake, and part of a flint knife.

A S Henshall 1972; M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964; J G Scott 1963; 1964; 1965; 1974.

NN 0582 0498: Generally as described.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (D W R) 15 March 1973.

In a clearing in a forestry plantation known as Barmore Wood about 200m NE of the bridge that carries the main road (A83) over the Douglas Water there are the denuded remains of a cairn and the two axial burial-chambers that it contained (Campbell and Sandeman 1964; Henshall 1972). Almost all the cairn material has been removed, but the rough outline of the NE end, now overlain by a ruined drystone enclosure, can just be traced, and the original length of the cairn was at least 28m. The chambers were excavated in advance of afforestation between 1963 and 1965 (Scott 1973), and the flowing account includes a summary of what was discovered. The plan shows the present appearance of the remains, with a boxed detail to illustrate the results of the excavation of the NE chamber.

Only the side-walls of the NE chamber are now visible, but excavation revealed that it measures about 5m by 1m overall, comprising two compartments entered from the NE between two portal stones at the centre of a concave facade. At the entrance there is a low sill-stone, and the division between the compartments is formed by an arrangement of four transverse slabs, designed also to give support to the side-slabs. The rim of a carinated Neolithic vessel was found in the inner compartment, and sherds of another vessel and a small flint flake were found in the outer compartment. The chamber has been deliberately filled after the final burials had been deposited; large stones in the outer compartment covered a clayey layer, which sealed the floor, on which there were burnt patches and traces of cremated bone.

Of the three stones of the SW chamber that are visible, the portal stone (about 1.1m high) at the SW end and the back-slab remain in position and indicate that the chamber is about 4m long overall; it was found to be divided into two compartments by a septal slab, and part of a flint knife was recovered from it.

Visited June 1979


Site was examined prior to the refurbishment and upgrading of the Scottish Hydro-Electric Port Ann to Lochgair power line.

NN 0582 0496 Chambered tomb in Barmore Wood (NMRS NN00SE 12).

Sponsor: Scottish Hydro-Electric plc.

L H Johnstone 1999


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