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Crinan Ferry

Cave(S) (Period Unassigned), Microlith(S), Unidentified Pottery

Site Name Crinan Ferry

Classification Cave(S) (Period Unassigned), Microlith(S), Unidentified Pottery

Alternative Name(s) Kilmahumaig Cave

Canmore ID 39174

Site Number NR79SE 22

NGR NR 7990 9380

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish North Knapdale
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR79SE 22 7990 9380

(NR 799 938) Rock shelter, beaker fragments and microliths found. Two of the shelters out of the seven-eight shelters in area are walled; largest has a wide double-construction wall curving to narrow entrance at west side of rock wall.

R J Mapleton 1881; Information from manuscript notes from Miss M Campbell June 1957 and June 1960.

NR 7990 9380. Only three rock shelters could be identified with certainty, each with traces of walling across its entrance. They are situated close to one another along the foot of a high crag line each being minor overhangs of small proportions.

'A' the most westerly, is 4.0m across with an overhang 2.8m high from present ground level. The recess thus formed, is 1.2m in depth. There is a turf-covered wall 0.9m high on the W side of the opening with fragmentary footings completing the enclosure.

'B' the central shelter, is 4.4m wide, 2.0m deep and 2.1m high. There is a substantial dry-stone wall (now turf-covered) 1.2m wide and 0.5m high which totally blocks the entrance apart from a gap 1.0m wide on the W side. Stone has been added to the thickness of the wall in recent times and the whole has the appearance of modern usage perhaps as a lambing pen or something similar.

'C' the extreme easterly shelter, is 4.0m wide by 1.4m deep and 1.7m high; this has the footings of a wall across its entrance. Immediately to the E, the turf-covered scree appears to have been artificially levelled creating a circular platform effect 4.0m in diameter.

Modern material such as bottle glass, animal bones etc is present in all three shelters.

Surveyed at 1:10,560

Visited by OS (ECW) 22 June 1973.

No change to the report of 22 June 1973.

Surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (TRG) 26 January 1977.

There are three shallow caves or rock-shelters to the NE of Crinan Ferry, and it was probably in one of these that in 1880 Mapleton examined the remains of a cist that had been disturbed by a tinker only shortly before. (Mapleton 1881) The slabs of the cist were in disarray, but in digging around them Mapleton found human bones, the bones and teeth of a pig, and midden debris as well as two pieces of flint, one of which was worked. Among the pottery sherds recovered there were 'about 24 pieces of an urn, or rather two urns, one of which, the larger, was very thick and coarse, the other apparently of the ordinary size and make, the only ornamentation being lines made by the impression of a cord'. The human bones appeared to belong to two individuals. It seems clear that the material comprised both the debris of habitation and the remains of a prehistoric burial. Further excavations were undertaken in 1959, and fragments of inhumed bone and a sherd of a cord-ornamented Beaker, now in Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, were recovered. (Campbell and Sandeman 1964)

RCAHMS 1988, visited June 1981.


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