Ancient Monuments

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Cladh na h'Anaid, burial ground, 760m south east of Stonefield

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

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.4446 / 56°26'40"N

Longitude: -5.3146 / 5°18'52"W

OS Eastings: 195790

OS Northings: 732973

OS Grid: NM957329

Mapcode National: GBR FC8P.6DN

Mapcode Global: WH1HL.B8GV

Entry Name: Cladh na h'Anaid, burial ground, 760m SE of Stonefield

Scheduled Date: 21 July 1975

Last Amended: 15 August 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3678

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 of early Christian or, possibly, medieval or later date. It survives as an enclosure defined by a turf and stone bank, which stands up to 1m high in places and up to 0.9m wide. The old Taynuilt to Oban road, now a track approximately 5m wide, runs NW-SE through the burial ground. The majority of the enclosure lies SW of the track. A smaller portion survives to the NE of the track, where it is visible as a sub-circular platform enclosed by a low turf and stone bank. The burial ground measures up to 26m NW-SE by 36m transversely (externally). No internal features or gravemarkers are visible. The burial ground is situated on low ground within rough grazing land, at the edge of a forestry plantation. The monument was originally scheduled in 1975, but the documentation does not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular and measures 40m NE-SW by 35m 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.

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

Although the site has been disturbed in the past by the construction of the old Taynuilt to Oban road, it retains much of its form and is currently in a stable condition. The SW part of the site is the best preserved. It is enclosed by a turf and stone bank which stands up to 1m high along its W and SW edges. There are additional traces of a bank or walling along the NW edge of the enclosure, which may indicate possible sub-divisions or an earlier extension to the burial ground. The part of the burial ground to the NE of the track survives as a semi-circular level platform, within a slight enclosing bank. There is good potential for the survival of archaeological deposits, particularly burials of different phases and evidence relating to the construction, use and development of the site.

Excavations of similar burial enclosures elsewhere in Scotland and Ireland have revealed varied but rich archaeological remains. It is likely that important early Christian, and possibly medieval or later, deposits survive which could contribute towards our understanding of burial practices and the origins, nature and duration of use for early ecclesiastical sites. In addition, any skeletal remains could reveal evidence for health, diet, illness, cause of death and possibly occupational activities of the population buried here. There is potential to compare the buried remains at this site with those of other early historic burial grounds in Argyll and further afield. The monument has the potential to enhance our understanding of burial practices, the development of burial grounds and the organisation and spread of Christianity in Argyll.

Contextual characteristics

The monument was identified as a burial ground by the Ordnance Survey in about 1870. It is one of several small enclosed burial grounds of circular, sub-circular or irregular shape in this region that are believed to be early Christian in date (6th century onwards). Its name, Cladh na h'Anaid, strongly suggests it was used not only as a burial ground, but was associated with an ancient chapel. The site is one of just two in this area to bear the place-name 'Annaid', the other located about 6km to the SE.

Associative characteristics

The site is depicted on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map as a sub-circular enclosure and labelled 'Burial Ground (Cleig na h'Anaid)'.

Several massive conifers in a line along the NE edge of the burial ground were reportedly planted as memorials to local men who fell in World War I, including several men who worked on the estate. This suggests that the site continued to hold its significance as a place of burial and commemoration in local consciousness in the early 20th century.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a pre-Reformation burial ground, with high potential for the survival of early Christian and possibly medieval or later remains. The place-name indicates not only that this was the site of a burial ground, but strongly suggests the presence of an early church or chapel on the site at some stage. Important archaeological remains relating to the origins, use and development of the site are expected to survive, including burials and possibly a chapel. Its significance is enhanced by its capacity for comparison with similar burial ground and chapel sites in Argyll, as well as further afield in Scotland and Ireland. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our ability to understand and appreciate the origins and development of early Christian and later ecclesiastical sites in Argyll.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

On 23 March 2012, Andrew Fulton wrote to Haldanes McLaren and Scot and Mrs Nelson to inform them of the scheduling assessment. A reply was received on 2 April from Sarah Illingworth, estate manager acting on behalf of the late Mrs Nelson. Rachel Pickering, Olwyn Owen and Sheila Clark visited the site on 10 May and met Sarah Illingworth. OO explained the scheduling process, its implications and the purpose of the visit. RP wrote to Sarah Illingworth on 21 June 2012 confirming our intention to proceed with rescheduling. No issues have been raised.

RCAHMS record the site as NM93SE 2. The West of Scotland Archaeology Service SMR reference is WOSASPIN 1425.

References

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 1988, Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 2: Lorn, pp. 120-1, no. 23. Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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