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Long Cist(S) (Early Medieval), Ogham Inscribed Stone (Early Medieval)

Site Name Poltalloch

Classification Long Cist(S) (Early Medieval), Ogham Inscribed Stone (Early Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Brouch An Drummin

Canmore ID 39479

Site Number NR89NW 37

NGR NR 82068 97182

NGR Description Centre

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NR89NW 37 820 971

(NR 822 973) Examination and excavation in 1928 at the E side of the gravel pit at Brouch an Drummin revealed 4 long cists, oriented E-W, in the position shown on plan. They contained inhumations, but no relics. Re-visiting the site in 1931, Craw found a slab fragment, doubtless recently broken from one of the cists, bearing an Ogham inscription: CRON(A)N. This is in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS - Accession no: HPO 470).

The old name of Brough an Drummin was Kil y Kiaran (Craw 1929), Kilchiarain (Campbell and Sandeman 1932) indicative of a dedication to St Ciaran. (See also NR89NW 11).

J H Craw 1929; J H Craw 1932; M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964.


Field Visit (27 April 1973)

NR 820 971. There is no trace of these cists which presumably have been destroyed by the gravel quarry.

Visited by OS (I A) 27 April 1973.

Field Visit (April 1984)

In 1928 four long cists were discovered in a gravel-pit about 500m SW of North Lodge, Poltalloch, in an area formerly known as Kill y Kiaran. Some 37m to the N was a low bank measuring about 0.15m in height and 7.3m in width, which was traced for a length of 64m. Gravel-digging has since removed all traces of the cists and the bank, which was interpreted as cutting off the promontory on which the cists, and a group of four short cists (NR89NW 36), were situated.

The first cist, aligned ESE and WSW [?], measured 1.68m in length, 0.48m at the E end, 0.46m at the shoulders and 0.31m at the W end; it was constructed of three slabs on each side, two end-slabs and three cover slabs and contained an extended inhumation with the head at the Et end. The second cist lay parallel to the first, and some 0.46m to the S; it had been damaged at the W end in the course of gravel-digging. Constructed with two slabs on the N side, one on the S, one at the E end and with two surviving cover-slabs, it measured 0.2m in width at the E end and 0.28m in the middle. The third cist lay close to the E end of the first and in alignment with it; it had been disturbed by the construction of a fourth, which was cut into its E end. The W end -slab, two slabs of each side, and one cover slab remained. Part of a skull was found at the W end. The fourth cist was aligned NE and SW; it was constructed with three slabs on each side, two end-slabs and three cover slabs, and measured 1.73m in length, 0.46m in width at the W end, 0.5m at the shoulders and 0.25m at the E end. It contained an extended inhumation with the head at the W end.

A stone with an ogam inscription was found near the site of the cists in 1931 and Craw suggested that 'there can be little doubt that it has been broken at some at some recent time from a slab of one of the graves' (Craw 1932). It measures 254mm in length by 82mm in breadth and 57mm in thickness. The scored letters use one edge of the stone as a base-line and in transliteration read CRON(A)N. The stone is now in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Queen Street, Edinburgh.

RCAHMS 1992, visited April 1984

Reference (2001)

A stone bearing an ogham inscription, now in the Museum of Scotland, was found in 1931 in an area formerly known as 'Kill y Kiaran', near the site of four long-cist burials. Broken at one end, it is 0.25m by 82mm by 57mm. The scored letters use one angle as a base-line and read [ ]CRON(?A)?N, probably including the Irish personal name 'Cronan'. (NMS X.HPO 470).

Forsyth 1996, 443-455; Cox 1999, 90-2).

I Fisher 2001.

Note (12 May 2020)

The location, classification and period of this site have been reviewed.


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