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Battle Site (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Cairn(S) (Period Unassigned), Clearance Cairn(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Fanans

Classification Battle Site (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Cairn(S) (Period Unassigned), Clearance Cairn(S) (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 23440

Site Number NN02NW 5

NGR NN 0382 2905

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Glenorchy And Inishail (Argyll And Bute)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NN02NW 5 0382 2905.

(NN 0382 2905) Cairn (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

In the area centred on NN 042 289 are about 25 cairns of differing size, plan and state of preservation. Some are as small as 8' to 10' across and less than 0.3 metres high. One is roundish in plan, 45' in diameter and 1.2 metres high. They appear for the most part as bare stony mounds, some obviously containing much field clearance, if not entirely composed of it. It seems extraordinary that one spot should provide so many examples when neighbouring areas have none.

A battle between Bruce and McDougall of Lorn in 1308, and which resulted in the flight into exile of both Alexander and John of Lorn, may have taken place here, although the only evidence associating the battle with the Pass of Brander is in Barbour's poem "The Brus" (late 14th century). The poem does not mention the pass by name but the description fits. The large number of 'cairns' in this area may be associated with that battle.

R C Mackie 1962; C M MacDonald 1950; OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1902); Visited by RCAHMS 21 May 1969.

At NN 0382 2905, on a formerly cultivated terrace above the River Awe, is a burial cairn composed of small stones, with a hollow centre and measuring 13.5 metres in diameter and 1.2 metres in height. Its plan, profile and position are typical of burial cairns in the district. In the surrounding area are numerous clearance heaps and others almost certainly existed to the west of these, but have probably been removed to provide material for the construction of the dyke which surrounds more recently cultivated land.

The association of the clearance heaps with a 14th century battle follows the pattern similar elsewhere in the Highlands.

The burial cairn was surveyed at 1:2500 scale.

Visited by OS (R D) 22 October 1969; Visible on RAF air photographs CPE/Scot/327:4348


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