Ancient Monuments

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North Connel, barrow 85m ESE of Lochnell Arms Hotel

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

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Latitude: 56.458 / 56°27'28"N

Longitude: -5.3949 / 5°23'41"W

OS Eastings: 190917

OS Northings: 734704

OS Grid: NM909347

Mapcode National: GBR FC1N.CLQ

Mapcode Global: WH1HC.3Y83

Entry Name: North Connel, barrow 85m ESE of Lochnell Arms Hotel

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1975

Last Amended: 27 March 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3710

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Ardchattan and Muckairn

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban North and Lorn

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of a barrow, dating probably from the Bronze Age (around the second millennium BC), or possibly earlier. It survives as an oval mound of earth and gravel, measuring 16m N-S by 18m W-E (maximum) and standing almost 2m high. The barrow is at 15m above sea level and overlooks Loch Etive and the Falls of Lora. Today it is located within amenity woodland surrounding a modern housing estate. The monument was first scheduled in 1975, but the documentation does not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The area to be scheduled is a truncated circle, measuring 22m in diameter centred on the cairn. The scheduling includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area extends 5m beyond the visible remains on the W and E sides, up to the line of the garden fence on the N side, and up to the top of the slope on the S side. The scheduling specifically excludes the garden fence on the N side to allow for its maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic Characteristics

The monument retains much of its original form and survives as a substantial mound comprised of earth and gravel. The barrow is heavily overgrown with vegetation, including a number of small trees, and some planting beds have been added at the foot of the mound on the E side. However, there is no evidence of significant disturbance through quarrying or previous excavation, which indicates that the monument is largely intact and its lower levels may be relatively well preserved. Overall, it is in a stable condition and retains good potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits.

Argyll is rich in prehistoric funerary and ceremonial monuments, but prehistoric barrows are a rare monument type: burial cairns in Argyll are normally built of stone. This monument therefore has particular potential to inform us about variations in the development and form of burial monuments in the area.

Excavated barrows elsewhere have been found to overlie one or more burials, typically cremations. As a relatively undisturbed barrow, this example may contain human remains and evidence relating to funerary practices. It may also contain artefacts, such as pottery, flint knives and jewellery, and palaeoenvironmental evidence that could inform us about trade and contacts in prehistory, as well as beliefs surrounding death and burial. These deposits can help us understand more about the practice and significance of burial and commemoration of 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 monument is likely to overlie and seal a buried ground surface that could provide evidence of the immediate environment before the monument was constructed. Botanical remains, including pollen or charred plant material, may 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 barrow.

Contextual characteristics

The monument is a rare example of its class and is of particular significance as the only barrow known in Lorn. At the time of its construction, this barrow would have been an impressive mound, dominating the plateau overlooking Loch Etive and the Falls of Lora to the south. Its setting is likely to be of significance: like many other burial monuments in Lorn, it has a maritime location. It is aligned E-W to command maximum views east and west along the loch, and across the water towards Ben Cruachan in the east.

The monument is less than 1km SW of the Moss of Achnacree, a landscape particularly rich in Neolithic and Bronze Age ritual and funerary monuments. Study of the position of this monument in relation to other prehistoric monuments in this landscape merits future analysis, and has the potential to further our understanding of funerary site location, ritual practice and the structure and beliefs of early prehistoric society.

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. Burial monuments such as this provide the chief material evidence for the Bronze Age in this part of Scotland. Buried evidence can enhance our knowledge about wider prehistoric society and economy, how people lived, where they came from and with whom they had contact. This barrow is of particular significance as the only example of its class in Lorn, and a rare type in Argyll. 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 times.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the site as NM93SW 10. The West of Scotland Archaeology Service SMR reference is 1432.


Maguire, D M 2004a 'Lochnell Arms Hotel, North Connel (Ardchattan & Muckairn parish), watching brief', Discovery Excav Scot, volume 5, p 23.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 1975, Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 2: Lorn, p 54. Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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