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Cup And Ring Marked Rock (Prehistoric)

Site Name Cairnbaan

Classification Cup And Ring Marked Rock (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 39586

Site Number NR89SW 3

NGR NR 8398 9104

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmichael Glassary
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes ( - 1977)

NR89SW 3 8398 9104.

NR 838 910. Cups, cup-and-ring marks on sheets of rock.

M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964; J Y Simpson 1868.

NR 8397 9104. Three cup and ring marked rocks in the care of D of E, within an iron railing.

A, measuring 8.0m x 2.0m bears 5 cup and ring marks

and over 50 cups, and radial grooves.

B, previously un-noted, measures 3.5m x 2.0m and bears 5 cups.

C, measuring 2.6m x 2.0m bears 3 cup and ring marks and 4 cups.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (DWR) 1 May 1973.

NR 8399 9104. Three cup-and-ring marked rocks as described in the report of 1 May 1973.

Surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (BS) 1 April 1977.


Field Visit (June 1985)

On high ground to the N of the Cairnbaan Inn there are two groups of cup-and-ring markings (Campbell and Sandeman 1964).

Situated within a metal railing there are three cup-and-ring marked rock outcrops. The decoration on the largest rock-sheet comprises a pair of cups surrounded by three partial rings, one cup with two rings, three cups within a single ring, sixteen single cups with single rings, at least sixty plain cups, and several lengths of grooving. A particular feature of this rock-sheet are the long gutters that run downslope from seven of the cups at the S end of the outcrop.

On a rock outcrop which lies towards the centre of the enclosure there are six plain cupmarks, and another outcrop at the NW of the enclosure bears three cups with double rings and six plain cups (Campbell and Sandeman 1964; Morris 1977).

Visited June 1985


Publication Account (1985)

The two rocks are extensively decorated with cup-markings, many with encircling rings with distinct grooves; several cups are enclosed within larger ovals. The first sheet is within a fenced enclosure on the east side of a wall, the second is on the other side of the wall about 100m to the west. The second sheet contains a profusion of cup-and-ring markings in several cases with four encircling rings, and the figures arranged in putting groups. The markings are particularly crisp in late afternoon sunlight, a time when the views across the Crinan canal and down to Lochgilphead are also impressive.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles’, (1985).


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