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Colonsay, Machrins

Ship Burial (Viking)

Site Name Colonsay, Machrins

Classification Ship Burial (Viking)

Canmore ID 37900

Site Number NR39SE 26

NGR NR 358 935

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Colonsay And Oronsay
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR39SE 26 35 93.

A Viking boat burial was excavated by Sir John McNeill near Machrins Farm (NR 367 933) in August, 1891. The mound, which lay north-south, was one of several just north of where the angle of a stone wall projects into the golf course. It was a rough oval, c.30' by 20' and 7' in maximum height, of shell sand with occasional slabs of schist which were deduced to have been used to stabilise the mound. The whole was turf-covered except on the south where the turf-skin had been broken and erosion had left a nearly circular hollow. As well as the usual boat rivets, an iron pot, an iron axe-head and portions of a sword were found as well as the skeleton of a horse with its bridle-bit, portions of shield bosses, part of a lance-head, an amber bead , a penannular bronze brooch and a bronze pin. The arms had been deliberately mutilated before deposition. What was interpreted as a cooking hearth was also found.

M McNeill 1892; J de V Loder 1935

NR 358 935. From the description it is clear that this burial was found in the area formerly occupied by a golf course where there are several stony mounds. Precisely which mound contained this burial can not now be ascertained.

Visited by OS (JP) 20 April 1974


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