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Islay, Nereabolls, Giant's Grave

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Islay, Nereabolls, Giant's Grave

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Slochd Measach; Beinn Tart A' Mhill

Canmore ID 37335

Site Number NR25NW 3

NGR NR 2105 5642

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/37335

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2017.

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NR25NW3 2105 5642

(NR 2105 5642) Slochd Measach (NR)

OS 6" map (1900)

Ten large stones, some of which are standing. Tradition says they were erected over the graves of ancient heroes of British origin.

Name Book 1878

The Giant's Grave. The remains of a Clyde group chambered long cairn of which none of the cairn material remains, although most of the orthostats and part of the facade survive. The floor of the chamber is bare and usually water covered and is 1ft 6ins lower than the general level of the peat covered area outside. The cairn had faced NE and three stones of the almost straight facade remain while other stones in front of the line may be displaced facade stones. The chamber is 25ft 3 ins long, rather irregular in plan (although less so than at first appears as several stones are slightly displaced) and the axis is slightly curved. The walls are of large slabs set on edge and standing from 3ft to 4ft 9ins high. The chamber is divided by septal slabs supported by jambs. Lying at an angle within the chamber are two cap-stones 6ft and 8ft 9ins long; and thirty feet SSW of the inner end of the chamber

there is a stone set on edge, 1ft 9ins high.

F Newall and H E Newall 1961; A S Henshall 1972.

Situated in moorland on the SE slopes of Beinn Tart a'Mhill, 2km NW of Nerabolls, the uprights of the chamber and facade of this tomb stand above the paet, but no cairn material is now visible. The cairn is aligned NE and SW with the chamber at the NE end; several stones of the straight facade remain, that at the NW end still standing to a height of 1.1m, while the one at the SE end has fallen. In front of the entrance there are several large displaced slabs which may be either fallen facade stones or dislodged capstones.

The chamber is 7.5m long and is divided into four compartments, although several stones at the NE end are now missing or displaced. The massive slab that forms the SE side of the outermost compartment is at least 1.3m high, but its partner on the other side has now fallen. The second compartment measures 1.5m by 0.9m with its slabs standing up to 1.25m high. The septal stone between this and the third compartment is a thin slab 0.6m high and it is additionally supported by the jamb-stone at its NW end. The two rear compartments are comparatively well preserved and measure 3.6m in overall length by 2m in breadth, with the end-slab still exposed to a height of 1.4m. The intervening septal stone has jamb-stones at each end to provide support for the sides of the chamber; the septal stone is 1.25m long. Two displaced capstones partly cover these two compartments and measure respectively 2.65m by 1.57m by 0.3m and 1.83m by 0.2m.

At a point 10m SSW of the inner end of the chamber there is a further upright stone, standing to a height of 0.5m, but in the absence of excavation its function is not clear.

RCAHMS 1984, visited July 1975

A chambered long cairn known locally (D MacDiarmid, Lower Nearabolls) as The Giant's Grave and as described by Henshall.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (BS) 22 May 1978.

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