Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cameron Home Farm,cairn 360m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Lomond, West Dunbartonshire

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Latitude: 56.0079 / 56°0'28"N

Longitude: -4.6174 / 4°37'2"W

OS Eastings: 236906

OS Northings: 682529

OS Grid: NS369825

Mapcode National: GBR 0K.TDPF

Mapcode Global: WH3NB.18J4

Entry Name: Cameron Home Farm,cairn 360m SW of

Scheduled Date: 4 December 1970

Last Amended: 13 September 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3011

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Bonhill

County: West Dunbartonshire

Electoral Ward: Lomond

Traditional County: Dunbartonshire


The monument is a cairn probably dating to the Bronze Age (around 2000-800 BC). It is visible as an oval, flat-topped grass-covered mound of stony material measuring 30m northwest to southeast by 22m transversely and standing up to 2.5m in height. The monument is situated on the upper reaches of a northeast-facing slope at about 100m above sea level with uninterrupted views over Loch Lomond.

The scheduled area is oval on plan and includes the remains described above and area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive. The scheduling specifically excludes the top 300mm of the existing gravel farm track and the above-ground elements of the fence running northwest to southeast over the cairn. The monument was first scheduled in 1951, but the documentation did not meet current standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The cultural significance of the monument is expressed as follows:

Intrinsic Characteristics

Although there is some evidence of erosion in the form of hollows on the ground surface of the cairn, and the northeast side of the cairn may have been reduced, the monument still retains much of its form and fabric, standing up to 2.5m in height. There is no record of antiquarian excavation of this site. There is therefore high potential for important archaeological information to survive buried within, beneath and around the cairn including one or more graves or cist settings and human skeletal remains in the form of cremations or inhumations. There is also potential for the survival of associated artefacts or grave goods such as tools, jewellery or pottery. This monument therefore has the potential to improve our understanding of burial practice and religious beliefs, the construction and use of burial monuments, and about society and the environment in general during the time that it was constructed and in use.

Cairns such as this are typically Bronze Age in origin, dating most commonly to between about 2000 BC and 800 BC, though it is possible that the site has earlier origins as a place of ritual or burial. It is possible that the cairn was used for multiple burials, over an extended period of time, and it is likely to have been an important place for commemoration of many generations. Excavations of this type of monument have demonstrated that they were often used to cover and mark human burials, for example Dunchragaig Cairn (SM90111).

The cairn is likely to have had a prominent place within a social group's territory and may have been a focal point in the landscape, possibly reinforcing social/ancestral ties to the land.

Contextual Characteristics

Burial cairns of this type are relatively common in Dunbartonshire with about 40 recorded examples. Such burial monuments vary in form, location and size, and this example can be studied in comparison with others to enhance our knowledge of the burial traditions and beliefs associated with these monuments and the reasons behind their design and form. There are few recorded contemporary sites in the vicinity of this cairn. Of particular note, is a chambered cairn dating from the Neolithic period situated about 475m to the southeast. Many cairns are intervisible with other ritual monuments and it is possible that this was the case with these two cairns. However, the line of sight is now obscured by forestry. Cairns are often placed in conspicuous locations within the landscape, at the edge of arable land and overlook or are intervisible with other ritual monuments. This example is particularly notable for its positioning on the higher reaches of a southeast-facing slope with uninterrupted views over Loch Lomond.

Associative Characteristics

There are no known associative characteristics which contribute to the site's cultural significance.


National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to knowledge and understanding of the past, particularly the design and construction of burial monuments, and the nature of belief systems and burial practices during the Bronze Age in Dunbartonshire. Ritual and funerary monuments are often our main source of evidence for human activity during the Bronze Age in Scotland. They are particularly important for enhancing our understanding of Bronze Age society, its organisation, economy, religion and demography. Despite disturbance in the past, this cairn is reasonably well-preserved, allowing us to interpret its original form and position in the landscape overlooking Loch Lomond. It also retains high potential for buried archaeological remains including burials, artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand funerary practice, death and burial in prehistoric times, and the placing of such monuments within the landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 42491 (accessed on 14/06/2016)

The West of Scotland Archaeology Service Historic Environment Record reference is 7060 (accessed on 14/06/2016)

RCAHMS (1950-9) Marginal Land Survey (unpublished typescripts). 3v. Typescripts

RCAHMS (1978) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Dumbarton District, Clydebank District, Bearsden and Milngavie District, Strathclyde Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland, series no 3 Edinburgh


HER/SMR Reference

WoSAS PIN 7060

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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