Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Loch-na-beithe Cottage, cairn 35m south east of

A Scheduled Monument in Oban North and Lorn, Argyll and Bute

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 56.4604 / 56°27'37"N

Longitude: -5.3849 / 5°23'5"W

OS Eastings: 191546

OS Northings: 734942

OS Grid: NM915349

Mapcode National: GBR FC2N.45J

Mapcode Global: WH1HC.8W08

Entry Name: Loch-na-beithe Cottage, cairn 35m SE of

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1976

Last Amended: 16 September 2010

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3768

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Ardchattan and Muckairn

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban North and Lorn

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of a cairn, built probably in the late Neolithic or Bronze Age between 3000 and 1000 BC. It is visible as an irregular mound of smallish stones, mostly covered by turf or other vegetation. It lies at North Connel, 90m north of Loch Etive and 130m south of Lochan na Beithe, standing at around 15m above sea level on a site raised above Loch Etive that gives good views to the south-east and south-west. The monument was first scheduled in 1977 as part of a scheduling that also included two cairns located further east, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains. The present rescheduling rectifies this and relates only to this cairn: the other two cairns are being rescheduled separately.

The upstanding remains of the cairn measure around 35m NE-SW by 30m transversely and stand to around 1m in height. To the SSW, W and NNW the edges of the cairn are abrupt and slope relatively steeply in a manner that suggests the monument may have been truncated by later activity. Rounded stones that revet the cairn to the NNW represent a modern feature rather than an original kerb, and a flight of four concrete steps nearby now gives access to the top of the monument. To the east the sides of the cairn slope more gradually. Despite later attrition, the cairn continues to form a large, easily visible landscape feature.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling excludes the above-ground elements of post-and-wire fences that lie close to the SSW and W edges of the cairn and also cross the cairn on a N-S alignment, to allow for their maintenance. The scheduling also excludes the above-ground elements of a telegraph pole in the SW corner of the cairn, a wooden shed on the N side of the cairn and two raised beds north of the sheds, to allow for their maintenance. The scheduling also excludes a septic tank close to the SW corner of the cairn and the soil that overlies it, together with all modern buried utility services and the soil that overlies them within their existing trenches.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

The cairn may have spread from its original form and has evidently been truncated by some modern activity, but it was probably a round cairn originally and remains an impressive feature. One 19th-century writer suggests that stone was taken from the monument to build adjacent farm buildings. Although such activities may have caused the cairn to spread, the writer notes that this was a large cairn prior to disturbance. Excavation elsewhere suggests that many round cairns were used to cover and mark human burials and are late Neolithic or Bronze Age in origin, dating most commonly from the late third millennium BC to the early second millennium BC. Although the cairn was disturbed in the 19th century, archaeological information is likely to survive buried beneath the stones, possibly including one or more burials. The excavation of similar mounds elsewhere in Scotland shows that such cairns often incorporate or overlie graves or pits containing cist settings, skeletal remains in the form of cremations or inhumations, and artefacts such as pottery and flintwork. About a dozen cairns in the Lorn area contain or are known to have contained burial cists and comparable remains may exist beneath this cairn. These deposits can help us understand more about the practice and significance of burial and commemorating the dead at specific times in prehistory. They may also help us to understand the changing structure of society in the area. In addition, the cairn is likely to overlie and seal a buried land surface that could provide evidence of the immediate environment before the monument was constructed. Botanical remains, including pollen or charred plant material, may also survive within archaeological deposits deriving from the cairn's construction and use. This evidence can help us to build up a picture of climate, vegetation and agriculture in the area before and during construction and use of the cairn.

Contextual characteristics

This monument lies at the southern edge of the Moss of Achnacree, a peninsula of relatively low, flat land that extends south between Ardmucknish Bay to the west and Loch Etive to the south-east. This is an area of glacial deposits probably associated with the retreat of the glacier that occupied Loch Etive and has seen the growth of peat 1m-5m thick over recent millennia. Researchers know of a cluster of important archaeological sites lying on and around the moss to the north and east of this cairn, within approximately 2km. The cluster includes two well-known chambered cairns, Carn Ban and Achnacreebeag, dating from the Neolithic, between 4500 BC and 2500 BC, as well as a larger number of other cairns without identified chambers, that are likely to date from the late Neolithic or Bronze Age, between around 3000 BC and 1000 BC. Many of the latter are comparable to this monument. They are typically between 11m and 24m in diameter and stand between 0.6m and 2.6m high. Larger examples also exist in the wider vicinity: the cairns of Lorn range in size from around 4m to around 43m in diameter. A variety of other archaeological remains are known in the area, including two enclosures of uncertain date that lie within 1km to the north-east and north-north-west. The growth of peat has sealed a range of known structures and deposits, including field banks and buried soils, and there is high potential for the discovery of additional, hitherto unknown remains. These may provide information about settlement, agriculture and economy to complement the evidence of the cairns themselves. Thus, given the many comparable sites in the area, this monument has the potential to further our understanding not just of funerary site location and practice, but also of the structure of early prehistoric society and economy.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, particularly the design and construction of burial monuments, the nature of burial practices and their significance in prehistoric and later society. Skeletal remains and artefacts from cairns can also enhance our knowledge about wider prehistoric society, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contact with. This monument is particularly valuable because it lies in a landscape where there are several other cairns as well as a diverse range of other archaeological features. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape and the meaning and importance of death and burial in prehistoric life.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the site as NM93SW 15. The WoSAS SMR records the site as WoSASPIN 1437.


RCAHMS, 1975, Argyll: an Inventory of the Ancient Monuments, Vol 2, Lorn, HMSO: Edinburgh

Smith, RA 1885 Loch Etive and the Sons of Uisnach, New Edition, Paisley and London

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.