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Carn Ban, Otter Ferry

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic), Hut (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Carn Ban, Otter Ferry

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic), Hut (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 39963

Site Number NR98SE 6

NGR NR 9512 8393

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NR98SE 6 9512 8393

(NR 9511 8392) Carn Ban (NR)

OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1900)

Described by Childe (1932) and Scott (1969) as a denuded but apparently long cairn (Clyde type) with the remains of a long burial chamber. Henshall describes the site as very ruined with still a quantity of stone remaining, especially on the E side. It does not seem to be elongated, but roughly circular in outline. Childe describes earth fast slabs, running N-S measuring 4'10" and 4'2" long with a gap at 9' between them, parallel to the S slab and 2' W of it is another 2'3" long. The space between is closed on the S by another slab set obliquely to the others. They were seen by Henshall, but she does not consider them to be the remains of a chamber, saying that the site is difficult to interpret, but in its present condition it is not convincing as a chambered cairn.

V G Childe 1932; J G Scott 1969; A S Henshall 1972.

A chambered cairn measuring c. 22.0m E-W by c 6.5m at its west end and c. 10.0m at the E where it stands to a height of 1.1m. The W half of the cairn has been almost totally robbed, but its edge is still defined on the N and part of the S by a low bank of stone. The remains of two transverse chambers (as described by Childe) are situated mid way along the cairn. No other structures are visible; the E end has been disturbed.

Revised at 1/10 560

Visited by OS (DWR) 10 November 1972.

NR 9512 8393. A chambered cairn as described in the field report of 10 November 1972.

Surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (BS) 11 October 1976.

Planned at 1:50 scale. A doubtful chambered tomb.

N Fojut 1978.

This site should not be regarded as a chambered cairn, as several of the upright stones appear to be part of a ruined house.

RCAHMS 1988.


Field Visit (March 1932)

Childe visited this site and the cairn at Auchnaha in March 1932.

V G Childe 1932

Field Visit (16 April 2015)

This chambered cairn lies just within the southern edge of a mature conifer plantation and immediately north of the steep-sided gully of the Eas an Fhir dhuibh, one of a number of streams that feed into the Kilail Burn. Situated on a gentle west-facing slope, the roughly rectangular cairn measures at least 24m in length from E to W by up to 11m in breadth and it stands to a maximum height of 1.1m at the eastern end. What appear to be the remains of two chambers, which are situated 10.7m from the east end and were respectively entered from the north and south sides of the cairn, are as originally described by Childe. The cairn material between the west end of the mound and these chambers has been robbed almost to ground level (though remains of a kerb are visible at the NW corner) and has been ploughed and planted with trees. The cairn material between the chambers and the east end of the mound has also been robbed but to a far lesser degree. Here, there is some evidence that the mound has been explored by trenching and there are also the remains of one or more later huts.

Carn Ban was recorded as an antiquity during the survey for the first edition of the OS 25-inch map in 1865 (Argyll and Bute Sheet CLXXI.8, 1873) and the contemporary Name Book describes it as a ‘heap of small stones, the greater portions having been removed to build neighbouring dykes’ (No. 12, 12). Classified by V G Childe as a long cairn in 1932, the site was subsequently recorded by the OS in 1972 and 1976. Some doubt was placed over the classification by Henshall (1972, 367) and later authorities (Fojut 1978, plan; RCAHMS 1988, 37).

Visited by RCAHMS (GG, JRS, AM) 16 April 2015.

Change Of Classification (26 August 2016)

Classification changed from Structure to Chambered Cairn after field visit.


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