Ancient Monuments

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Ardnadam, settlement, chapel and enclosure 215m west of The Larches

A Scheduled Monument in Cowal, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.9703 / 55°58'13"N

Longitude: -4.9446 / 4°56'40"W

OS Eastings: 216333

OS Northings: 679168

OS Grid: NS163791

Mapcode National: GBR 04.WZ1T

Mapcode Global: WH2M7.06QF

Entry Name: Ardnadam, settlement, chapel and enclosure 215m W of The Larches

Scheduled Date: 26 July 1972

Last Amended: 16 August 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3235

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: chapel; Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Dunoon and Kilmun

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Cowal

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument is a multi-period site comprising a prehistoric settlement and an early medieval chapel set within an sub-oval enclosure. The monument is located woodland clearing on the northeast side of Dunloskin Wood at 50m above sea level.

The visible remains include an arrangement of post holes indicating the position of two prehistoric houses, a sub-oval, intermittent turf and stone enclosure bank (measuring approximately 48m northwest-southeast by 57m transversely) within which there survives the lower courses of a rectangular stone chapel (measuring approximately 5.3m by 3.4m internally). Archaeological investigations have recovered further structural remains of floors, pits, post holes and buildings as well as a significant artefact assemblage of pottery, organic remains, a polished stone axe, and a group of stone gravemarkers, at least three of which are cross-incised. The earliest deposits date from 2790BC and the site appears to have been occupied intermintantly until the late 18th or early 19th centuries AD.

The scheduled area is an irregular polygon on plan and includes the area described above and area around it in which evidence for the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. Specifically excluded from the scheduled area are the above ground remains of interpretation signage, wooden pegs and all modern boundary features in order to allow for their continued maintenance. The monument was first scheduled in 1972 but and inadequate area was included: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because as an example of a multi-period site with intermittent occupation from the third millennium BC to the 19th century AD it has inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past. The monument has been variously used for domestic, ecclesiastical and industrial activities. Archaeological investigation has recovered a significant artefactual and ecofactual assemblage and there is high potential for features and accumulated deposists to survive in undisturbed contexts. The site enhances our understanding of prehistoric domestic occupation and the appropriation of earlier sites for Christian worship and burial. The monument's proximity to adjacent contemporary sites in Dunloskin wood adds to it significance as does comparisions with other early enclosed burial sites in southwest Scotland. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand early and multi-period sites which were intermittently occupied for over four thousand years.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference CANMORE ID 40746.

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference. WOSAS PIN 5324.

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

Fisher, I 1997 Early Christian archaeology in Argyll, in Ritchie, G, The archaeology of Argyll. Edinburgh.

Hatherley, C 2009 Into the west: excavation of an Early Christian cemetery at Montfode, Ardrossan, North Ayrshire', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquities of Scotland, vol. 139.

NSA. 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, 15v. Edinburgh. Vol.7 (Argyll).

Paterson, M 1970 Cowal before history.

RCAHMS 1988 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 6: Mid-Argyll and Cowal, prehistoric and early historic monuments. Edinburgh.

RCAHMS 1992 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: An inventory of the monuments: Volume 7: Mid-Argyll and Cowal: Medieval and later monuments. Edinburgh.

Rennie, E 1984 Ardnadam, Curr Archaeol, vol. 8, 9, 1984.

Rennie, E B 1984 Excavations at Ardnadam, Cowal, 1964-82, Glasgow Archaeological Journal, vol. 11.

Rennie, E B 1999 Ardnadam, Cowal, Argyll, further thoughts on the origins of the early Christian chapel, Glasgow Archaeol Journal, vol. 21.

Ritchie, G. 1997 Early settlement in Argyll, in Ritchie, G, The archaeology of Argyll. Edinburgh.


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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