Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Carn Ban, Cairnbaan

Burial Cairn (Bronze Age), Cist (Bronze Age), Cup Marked Stone (Bronze Age)

Site Name Carn Ban, Cairnbaan

Classification Burial Cairn (Bronze Age), Cist (Bronze Age), Cup Marked Stone (Bronze Age)

Canmore ID 39587

Site Number NR89SW 98

NGR NR 84010 90714

NGR Description Centre

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes ( - 1977)

NR89SW 30 8401 9071.

(NR 8401 9071) Carn Ban (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1924)

The remains of a large mound of earth and stones. It was partially excavated by Dr Hunter of Lochgilphead, who found a quantity of human bones. Immediately W, there is another mound, apparently of the same kind. It was also partly excavated, but nothing was found.

Name Book 1867.

Cairnbaan: Cist, 3'6" x 1'11" x 1'3", exposed in part-natural mound, 40' in diameter and 12' high. Its cover, in situ, has a lightly incised 'fir tree' design at its edge. The end slab (removed to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland [NMAS] - Accession no: IA 7) has incised diamond designs. Originally opened some years ago by Dr Hunter and Mr R Smith, the cist ws re-opened by Simpson and Hunter. When originally opened, yellow sand, charcoal, and burnt bones were found. Some flint fragments are believed to have been discovered later (Simpson 1868).

J Y Simpson 1868; M Campbell, J G Scott and S Piggott 1963; M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964.

The cairn and cist are as described by Campbell (1963; 1964). The only other pile of stones resembling a cairn in the area is situated c. 40m to the ESE. Although of the same stone content as Carn Ban, it has been too mutilated by cultivation to classify.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (DWR) 1 May 1973.

A cairn, with cist, is situated on an outcrop of rock. The nearby mound is a doubtful cairn, as described in the previous field report.

Surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (BS) 1 April 1977.


Field Visit (June 1981)

This cairn, situated on the S bank of the Crinan Canal at a point 120m SE of the Cairnbaan Inn, occupies the summit of a rocky outcrop (Campbell and Sandeman 1964, no. 69); it is probably about 8 m in diameter and 2m high, but its edges merge with the sides of the knoll. The central cist, built on the surface of the rock (Craw 1930, 138), is aligned E and W and measures 1.07m by 0.4m and 0.4m in depth internally. The capstone is 1.7m long, 0.8m broad and 0.12m thick; at its W end, an incised linear design makes use of a natural crack, and there is a cupmark (28 mm in diameter and 7mm in depth) near the centre of the slab. When it was originally excavated, 'some years' before 1867, a schist slab was discovered 'slid in as an upright loose panel . . . resting against the stone forming the western end of the grave' (Simpson 1868, 29-30). The slab, of Craignish phyllite, measures 0.62m by 0.45m and 0.07m in thickness and is decorated with pecked multiple lozenge motifs on the front and with a recent chiselled scroll design on the back (PSAS 1862, 488; Morris 1977, 66-7); it is preserved in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.

RCAHMS 1988, visited June 1981.

Note (7 May 2020)

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


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions