Ancient Monuments

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Tormore, long cairn 875m SSE of Crochandoon

A Scheduled Monument in Ardrossan and Arran, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5281 / 55°31'41"N

Longitude: -5.3239 / 5°19'26"W

OS Eastings: 190310

OS Northings: 631058

OS Grid: NR903310

Mapcode National: GBR FG73.84N

Mapcode Global: WH1N1.692Y

Entry Name: Tormore, long cairn 875m SSE of Crochandoon

Scheduled Date: 29 July 1953

Last Amended: 8 December 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM407

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: long cairn

Location: Kilmory

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Traditional County: Buteshire


The monument comprises the remains of a chambered burial cairn dating from the Neolithic period. The cairn was originally scheduled in 1953, but the area covered by the designation did not fully cover the monument. The current rescheduling rectifies this.

The cairn lies at 30m OD on a rising E-facing slope in gently sloping moorland. Almost all of the cairn material has been removed, revealing a burial chamber constructed from substantial stone slabs. From the traces of cairn material that survive on the site, the maximum dimensions of the cairn have been estimated at approximately 30m long by 20m wide, with a facade 18m wide by 8m deep.

The chamber is aligned NNE-SSW with three surviving compartments; it is possible that the chamber extended further S. Substantial stones lying to the N of the chamber probably represent the remains of an external cairn facade. A smaller burial cist that would also have been covered by the body of the cairn lies approximately 20m to the SW of the main chamber. Despite its denuded form, the cairn can be seen to fit into the local style of cairn building known as the Clyde type, characterised by rectilinear chambers with massive side slabs and subdivisions of lower stones.

The cairn chamber was cleared out in 1900 by Bryce. The dark, stony soil in the chamber contained a base layer of charcoal, and a number of artefacts were discovered including sherds of grooved ware and cinerary urn pottery, a stone macehead, and knives and other tools of flint.

The area to be scheduled is rectilinear, measuring 55m NNE-SSW by 40m, to include the remains described above and an area around and between them where material relating to the construction and use of the cairn may be expected to.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric ritual and religion. Although superficially disturbed, the monument is likely to retain valuable archaeological evidence below the current ground level. The relationship between this monument and the large prehistoric ritual complex of Machrie Moor, just over 1 km to the NE is of particular interest.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is RCAHMS number NR 93 SW 9.


Henshall, A. S. (1963) Chambered Tombs of Scotland, Vol.II, 371-3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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