Ancient Monuments

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Auchnaha, standing stone and long cairn 290m south east of

A Scheduled Monument in Cowal, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.9837 / 55°59'1"N

Longitude: -5.315 / 5°18'54"W

OS Eastings: 193296

OS Northings: 681706

OS Grid: NR932817

Mapcode National: GBR FD8W.S7M

Mapcode Global: WH1KQ.BV8Q

Entry Name: Auchnaha, standing stone and long cairn 290m SE of

Scheduled Date: 20 November 1935

Last Amended: 1 August 2022

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM172

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross (free-standing); Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Kilfinan

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Cowal

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of a chambered cairn, likely to date to between 3800 and 2500 BC, with a single standing stone 23m to the southwest. The monument is located above the Eastern shore of upper Loch Fyne at approximately 120m above sea level.  

The monument is a chambered long cairn of a type known as a Clyde cairn. It is visible as a low mound of earth and stone material with an undulating surface, trapezoidal in shape and aligned northeast to southwest. A number of protruding stone slabs indicate the position of at least two chambers, one of which retains its cap stone.  The remains of a curving facade and forecourt faces northeast and includes a single orthostat bearing an incised Latin cross. The visible remains of the cairn are over 20m in length and around 19m in width across the façade at the northeast end, narrowing to about 13m at its southwest end, However, the cairn may originally have been significantly longer; a single standing stone is located 23m from the southwest end of the cairn mound and may mark the original extent of the cairn.

The scheduled area is polygonal measuring 60m by 30m and includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. 

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has the potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the dating, construction and use of monumental burial structures, the nature of funerary practices, and the significance of chambered cairns in prehistoric society. Chambered cairns provide the primary material evidence for the Neolithic in this part of Scotland. This example provides evidence of adaption and re-use over what was probably a considerable period of time, adding to its significance. There is also high potential for the survival of significant buried archaeological evidence, including human remains, artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence, which can enhance our knowledge of wider prehistoric society and economy, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contact with. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our ability to appreciate and understand how death and burial was conceptualised in Neolithic Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Other Information

Historic Environment Scotland reference numbers CANMORE ID 4000 & 4005 (accessed on 6/2/14).

The West of Scotland Archaeological Service HER record the monument as WOSAS PIN 4590.


Childe, V G, 1932, 'Chambered cairns near Kilfinan, Argyll', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 66, 416-18.

Fisher, I, 2001, Early Medieval sculpture in the West Highlands and Islands, RCAHMS/Soc Ant Scot Monograph series 1, Edinburgh.

Henshall, A S, 1972, The chambered tombs of Scotland, vol 2, 327-8, Edinburgh.

Knight, G A F, 1937, 'Antiquities in the neighbourhood of Otter Ferry, Loch Fyne', Trans Glasgow Arch Soc 9, 1.

Moir, G, 1981, 'Some archaeological and astronomical objections to scientific astronomy in British prehistory', in Ruggles, C L N and Whittle, A W R, Astronomy and society in Britain during the period 4000-1500 BC, Brit Arch Rep (BAR) British ser, vol 88, Oxford.

New Statistical Account 1834-1845, The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, vol 7, Edinburgh.

Old Statistical Account 1791-9, The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes, vol 14, Edinburgh.

RCAHMS, 1988, Argyll: an inventory of the monuments, vol 6: Mid-Argyll and Cowal, prehistoric and early historic monuments, Edinburgh.

Scott, J G, 1969, 'Inventory of Clyde cairns', in Powell, T G E et al, Megalithic enquiries in the west of Britain, Appendix C, Liverpool.

Thom, A, 1967, Megalithic sites in Britain, Oxford.


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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