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Cup And Ring Marked Rock (Prehistoric)

Site Name Cairnholy

Classification Cup And Ring Marked Rock (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Cairnholy 4; Cairn Holy; Kirkdale

Canmore ID 63726

Site Number NX55SW 29

NGR NX 5155 5463

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Kirkmabreck
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Wigtown
  • Former County Kirkcudbrightshire

Archaeology Notes

NX55SW 29 5155 5463.

NX 515 546. Cup-and-Ring marks are carved on a rock outcrop forming a hillock 350yds ENE of Kirkmuir farm, beside the W wall of a field. The marks comprise 3 cups with one, two, and three rings respectively, very worn in parts and nine cups.

RCAHMS 1914, visited 1912; R W B Morris and D C Bailey 1967

The cup-and-ring marks described were located at NX 5157 5458.

Visited by OS (RD) 29 February 1972

NX 5155 5463 These cup marks occupy a 5.0m long face of outcropping rock and are generally as described in the previous information. The "cup with three rings" measures 0.3m in overall diameter, the cup itself being 7 cms in diameter and 3 cms deep. On the same outcrop are a large number of single 'cups' many of which are natural.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (BS) 22 June 1977

These markings are exposed in an area measuring about 5m NNW-SSE by 3.5m transversely on top of a prominent outcrop about 350m ENE of Kenmuir farmsteading. At least 31 plain cups, in four clusters, were identified, along with a cup-and-one-ring, 140mm in diameter, and two cup-and-two-rings, 190mm and 210mm in diameter, the last of these having a possible third ring 340mm across and a cup 70mm in diameter and 25mm deep.

(Cree94 303)

Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) 28 April 1994

Van Hoek divides the marks on this outcrop into seven groups, labelling them Cairnholy 4A-4G. Two of these groups were reported in 1992 ('Cairnholy 4F' by Van Hoek and 'Cairnholy 4E' by Schilders) at NX 5157 5458, some 50m to the SE, and these were formerly noted under NX55SW 59 and NX55SW 63. Van Hoek's 1995 description, however, makes it clear that these marks are on the same outcrop as the other 'Cairnholy 4' groups. In all about one hundred cups have been identified, eleven of them having between one and three rings. Naddair deturfed more of the outcrop, and identified over 200 cups.

M A M van Hoek 1992, L Schilders 1992, M A M van Hoek 1995, K Naddair 1995.


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