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Ardnacross, stone rows and cairns 560m WSW of

A Scheduled Monument in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.5698 / 56°34'11"N

Longitude: -6.0032 / 6°0'11"W

OS Eastings: 154184

OS Northings: 749153

OS Grid: NM541491

Mapcode National: GBR CCKC.31G

Mapcode Global: WGZDD.R4JC

Entry Name: Ardnacross, stone rows and cairns 560m WSW of

Scheduled Date: 30 January 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10570

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: stone rows

Location: Kilninian and Kilmore

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises two groups of stone rows and a group of three kerb cairns, all of prehistoric date. The stone rows are visible as upstanding and prostrate stones; the cairns are visible as grass-covered mounds defined by kerb stones.

The monuments lie on a natural terrace about 560m WSW of Ardnacross Farm, at about 70m OD. The stone rows are about 40m apart. Both rows consist of three stones and appear to have been aligned NNE-SSW. The southernmost group comprises: one prostrate slab at least 2.3m long by 1.1m broad; a standing stone of rectangular section, now leaning slightly to the S, which stands 2.4m high and measures 1.05m by 0.5m at its base; and another prostrate slab, half covered by turf, which is at least 1.9m long by 1.25m broad.

The three stones of the northern group have all fallen and are partly obscured by turf, but the largest is at least 2.8m long, 1.4m broad and 0.35m thick. The southernmost stone of this group has three cupmarks visible on its upper surface. In 1991, excavation in its vicinty revealed a large stone-lined pit containing a bronze bracelet.

The three kerb cairns lie between the two stone rows. The largest cairn, at the southern end of the group, is reasonably well preserved and about 5.5m in diameter. It is defined by a kerb of large boulders which is almost continuous, except in the NE quadrant where the perimeter has been destroyed by ploughing. The cairn material stands about 0.4m high on the S side, but on the N it is virtually level with the surrounding ground.

The second cairn, located about 4.6m NW of the largest cairn, is some 4m in diameter and stands 0.2m high (on the S side), defined by kerb stones. The southernmost kerb stone of this cairn also depicts a cupmark.

The third cairn is located approximately 1m N of the second cairn, measures about 3m in diameter and is defined by five kerb stones.

The stone rows are thought to have had astronomical associations and generally date to the late Neolithic or Bronze Age in the second millennium BC. Kerb cairns of this type are normally funerary monuments, also dating to the Bronze Age, and may be expected to contain material relating to their mode of construction and use.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material is likely to survive. It is an irregular rounded shape, with maximum dimensions of 71m N-S by 50m E-W, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monuments are of national importance because of their potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric ritual and funerary practices. Their importance is increased by their proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date and by their group value. The kerb-cairns are likely to contain important archaeological information relating to their construction and use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM 54 NW 3.

Photographic Bibliography:

RCAHMS 1976 Ref: 7806.


Cregeen, E. R. (1958) 'Ardnacross, Mull', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, 1958, 7-8.

Judd, J. W. (1875) 'Notes on some ancient chapels and other remains in the island of Mull', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 10, 1872-4, 597.

Martlew, R. and Ruggles, C. (1990) 'Ardnacross (Kilninian & Kilmore parish), stone rows, cairns', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, 1990, 32.

Martlew, R. and Ruggles, C. (1991) 'Ardnacross, Mull (KilniNian & Kilmore parish): stone rows, cairns', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, 1991, 52.

Martlew, R. D. and Ruggles, C. L. N. (1996) 'Ritual and Landscape on the West Coast of Scotland: an Investigation of the Stone Rows of Northern Mull', Proc Prehist Soc, 62, 1996, 125-129.

RCAHMS (1980) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. 'Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 3: Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll (excluding the early medieval and later monuments of Iona)'. Edinburgh, 50, No. 10(1).

Thom, A. (1967) Megalithic sites in Britian. Oxford, 40, 99, 139, no. M 1/9.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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