Ancient Monuments

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Carn Ban, cairn, Cairnbaan

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.0604 / 56°3'37"N

Longitude: -5.4707 / 5°28'14"W

OS Eastings: 184016

OS Northings: 690712

OS Grid: NR840907

Mapcode National: GBR DDWP.LX5

Mapcode Global: WH0J3.YX1X

Entry Name: Carn Ban, cairn, Cairnbaan

Scheduled Date: 12 December 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10333

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: South Knapdale

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument consists of a Bronze Age burial cairn, now sited on the south bank of the Crinan Canal at Cairnbaan.

The cairn sits on top of a natural rock outcrop. It measures approximately 8m in diameter and 2m in height, but the edges of the cairn merge with the edges of the natural knoll. A central stone cist has been exposed by excavations in the mid nineteenth century, which found charcoal, burnt bones and flint fragments.

Two carved stones were also found: a schist slab with pecked multiple lozenge motifs; and the cover slab of the cist, still in situ, which has a lightly incised 'fir tree' design on one edge and a cup mark on one face. The cist is sited centrally on top of the cairn, aligned with its long axis E-W, and measures 1.07m long by 0.4m wide and 0.4m deep.

The scheduled area is a circle 24m in diameter, centred on the middle of the cairn, to include the cairn and a surrounding area in which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because, despite some limited excavation, it retains the potential to provide information about later Neolithic and Bronze Age ritual and funerary practices, and the physical remains are well defined. The monument forms part of a wider group of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in Kilmartin Glen, and is close to the cup-and-ring marked rocks in State Care at Cairnbaan. It therefore has the potential to contribute to a wider understanding of early prehistoric society in the area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NR 89 SW 30.


Campbell, M. and Sandeman, M. (1864) 'Mid Argyll: an archaeological survey', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 95, 12, No. 69.

Campbell, M., Scot, J. G. and Piggott, S. (1963) 'The Badden cist slab', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 94, 49-51.

Simpson, J. Y. (1968) 'On ancient sculpturings of cups and concentric rings, etc.', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 6 Appendix, 29-30.

Ordnance Survey (1867) The prehistoric rock art of Argyll, Poole, 66-7, No. ARG 25.

RCAHMS (1988) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 6: Mid-Argyll and Cowal, prehistoric and early historic monuments, Edinburgh, 57, No. 36 photo, (B, C), 57; plan (A, D), 57.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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