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Cladh na h'Annaid, burial ground 280m south east of Corachie Farm

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

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.4122 / 56°24'43"N

Longitude: -5.2418 / 5°14'30"W

OS Eastings: 200107

OS Northings: 729157

OS Grid: NN001291

Mapcode National: GBR FCFR.XDK

Mapcode Global: WH1HT.G344

Entry Name: Cladh na h'Annaid, burial ground 280m SE of Corachie Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 September 1968

Last Amended: 7 February 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2699

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard

Location: Ardchattan and Muckairn

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban North and Lorn

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a burial ground, which is probably early medieval in origin. The burial ground is visible as an enclosure formed of a bank of earth and stone, which stands up to 0.5m high and spreads to 3m wide on average. On plan, the enclosure is an irregular pentagon, measuring from 14m to 17m across. A narrow opening on the NW side probably marks the entrance. The burial ground lies within rough grazing at about 100m above sea level, on sloping land with occasional rocky outcrops. The enclosure occupies a levelled platform on a low knoll. Beyond the entrance on the SW side, there appears to be a possible apron or extension to the enclosure. The monument was originally scheduled in 1968, but the documentation does not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular, measuring 35m WNW-ESE by 30m transversely, to include the remains described above and an area around them in which evidence relating to the monument's construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The burial ground is in good condition and appears undisturbed. The enclosing bank varies in height and form. It is most complete along the NW, E and SE sides, where it stands up to 0.5m high; the W side is much less complete. The NE bank contains larger boulders, whereas the SE bank appears to be built of smaller stones. The interior is stony, but there are no surface indications of grave markers or other features. The burial ground has high research potential. The form of the enclosure, together with the place-name evidence, suggests that the site may be early Christian in origin and may have been associated with a chapel. It is also likely to have been used or re-used in medieval and later times; it was reported in about 1870 that the place had been used for interment 'many years ago'.

Excavations of similar burial enclosures elsewhere in Scotland and Ireland have revealed rich and varied archaeological remains. There is good potential for the survival of important archaeological remains on this site, including burials, which could enhance our understanding of burial practices at different times in the history of Argyll. Any skeletal remains could reveal evidence of the health, diet, causes of death and possibly occupational activities of the population buried here. The site is also likely to contain archaeological evidence relating to its construction, use and duration, which could contribute towards our understanding of the nature of ecclesiastical sites in Argyll. There is potential to compare the buried remains at this site with those of similar burial grounds in Argyll and further afield. The site has good potential to enhance our understanding of early medieval and later ecclesiastical structures and populations. The monument has the potential to enhance our understanding of the organisation and spread of Christianity in Argyll.

Contextual characteristics

This example is one of several small enclosed burial grounds in this area, which are believed to be early Christian in origin (6th century AD onwards) and may have been used or re-used in medieval and later times. The monument therefore has the potential to be compared with other examples in Argyll to add to our knowledge and understanding of the use and siting of these early burial and ecclesiastical sites. Its name, Cladh na h'Annaid, strongly suggests it was used not only as a burial ground, but was also associated with an ancient chapel. The site is one of just two in this area to bear the place-name 'Annaid', which is an old Gaelic word meaning 'church', thought to have been in use before the arrival of the Norse. The other site called 'Annaid' is around 6km away, NW of Fearnoch.

The setting of the monument is also likely to be significant and would merit further analysis and comparison with other similar sites. The enclosure is levelled into a slope on high ground, with good views to the N, W and S. Unlike some other early burial grounds, however, it is in a relatively isolated location and not clearly associated with any other sites or settlement in the area.

Associative characteristics

The site is depicted on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map as a sub-circular enclosure named 'Cladh na h'Annait'. There is a strong local tradition that this site is a burial ground.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a burial ground and probable church of early medieval origin. The place-name indicates that there was a burial ground and an early church or chapel on the site at some stage of its existence. Important archaeological remains relating to the origins, use and development of the site are expected to survive, including burials of different periods and possibly a chapel. The significance of the site is enhanced by its group value as it can be compared with similar early ecclesiastical sites in Argyll and further afield, including in Ireland. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our ability to understand and appreciate the origins and development of early Christian sites in Argyll.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the site as NN02NW 1. The West of Scotland Archaeology Service SMR reference is WOSASPIN 1590.

References

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 1988, Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 2: Lorn, p. 121, no. 234. Edinburgh.

Macdonald, A D S and Laing, Lloyd R, 1967-8, 'Early ecclesiastical sites in Scotland: a field survey, Part 1', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries Scotland, vol 100, 132.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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