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Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Lephinkill

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Chapel

Canmore ID 40540

Site Number NS08SW 4

NGR NS 00274 84336

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes ( - 1976)

NS08SW 4 0027 8432.

(NS 0028 8432) St Modan's Chapel (NR) (Site of)

OS 6" map (1900)

This Clyde-type chambered long cairn measures 90' N-S by 46' at the N end, and 33' at the S end. Its edge is fairly clear, but there are no definite signs of a kerb; it is steep-sided on the W and S, but along the E side it is disturbed, with several hollows in the body of the cairn. At the N end, three upright stones, protruding about 2', but more than half hidden by the depth of cairn material in the forecourt, form a V-shaped facade. There is a portal stone on the E side of the entrance, which is 2'7" wide. Behind it, the tip of an earthfast stone set parallel may indicate a double portal.

All that is visible of the chamber is the upper parts of two side stones, now leaning together. They are about 5' long and 2'6" high. The size of the chamber cannot be estimated. Two tilted corbel stones rest over the E side slab. S of the chamber remains there is a hollow extending for 5'. At its S end lies a flat slab, which gives the impression of a secondary feature. It is probably very near the original end of the chamber. Just E of the hollow there is a flat slab, 3'1" x 6", apparently a capstone. Only its E edge is exposed. There is an upright earthfast boulder 4'7" E.

There appears to be no confirmatory evidence for a chapel existing here although the Ordnance Survey Name Book [ONB] states that gravestones were removed from this site to the modern burial ground at NR 995 841.

A S Henshall 1972; Name Book 1868

This chambered cairn is as described. There is no evidence for a chapel having stood here or in the vicinity.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (IA) 22 November 1972

No change to field report above.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (BS) 14 October 1976


Field Visit (October 1984)

This chambered cairn is situated 600m E of Clachan of Glendaruel in a clearing within a forestry plantation; its position above the valley floor of Glendaruel at a height of 140m OD, is similar to that of the chambered cairn at Ardachearanbeag (NS08NW 7), about 900m to the N (Henshall 1972). The cairn appears as an irregular heather-clad mound of stones measuring about 25m by 11m and 2m in height; it has been disturbed and robbed to provide material for several sheep-shelters, one of wqhich survives almost intact on the mound itself.

The chamber is at the N end and is entered through a concave facade, now partly hidden by blocking material; the E portal stone, measuring 1.0m by 0.25m, still protrudes about 0.5m above the surface of the mound. A small earthfast stone situated behind the E portal and set parallel to it, which, as Henshall suggests, might indicate a double portal (Henshall 1972), could not be identified. The W portal stone does not survive, but a small supporting stone behind its likely position can still be seen; measuring only 0.4m by 0.15m and protruding 0.3m, it is not itself a likely partner for the E portal.

Two displaced side-slabs of the chamber are still visible, both over 0.6m in height. An excavated hollow on the line of the continuation of the chamber suggests that it was originally between 3m and 4m long overall. Parts of what are probably corbel stones can be seen overlying the fallen side-slab on the E side of the chamber.

Visited October 1984


Measured Survey (9 October 1984)

RCAHMS surveyed Lephinkill chambered cairn on 09 October 1984 with plane-table and alidade producing a plan at a scale of 1:100. The plan of the cairn was redrawn in ink and published at a scale of 1:250 (RCAHMS 1988a, 48).


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