The Isle of Arran: Three Neolithic chambered cairns

Two Neolithic chambered cairns are set upon a low hill overlooking Whiting Bay. Their were built at right angles to one-another, with the largest aligned north-south. They have sweeping views to Goatfell, Holy Island and across the Firth of Clyde.

Above: The remains of the chamber of Giant’s Grave North, with the mountains beyond. The chamber would originally have been roofed and at least partially buried with a cairn (Photo: Aaron Watson)

 

Above: Looking north along the chamber of Giant’s Grave North. The entrance was at the far end, originally flanked by a facade of stones (Photo: Aaron Watson)

 

Above: A 3D model of the Giant’s Grave North, the larger of the two monuments. Please click on the button to interact (Photogrammetry: Aaron Watson)

 

Above: A 3D model of the Giant’s Grave South. Please click on the button to interact (Photogrammetry: Aaron Watson)

 

In the afternoon, after a walk of many kilometres, I arrived at the site of Carn Ban. The remains of this Neolithic chambered cairn are remote in the present day, but this was once a spectacular monument. It distantly overlooks the sea, and it is probably no coincidence that the distinctive profile of Ailsa Craig is conspicuous.

Above: The remaining stones of Carn Ban’s entrance, the roof stones having collapsed and the chamber filled with rubble. The island is Ailsa Craig (Photo: Aaron Watson)

 
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Above: Looking down the axis of the chamber from the forecourt of Carn Ban (Photo: Aaron Watson)

 
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Above: At the far end, the cairn at Carn Ban was built up to over four metres so that the monument appears to emerge from the hillside. Stones of the forecourt are visible in the foreground (Photo: Aaron Watson)