Kilmartin Glen, Argyll, Scotland
Kilmartin Glen in Argyll, Scotland has more than 800 important archeological sites in a 6 mile radius, 150 of them prehistoric. It is considered one of Scotland’s richest sites for prehistoric monuments. Some experts believe the area now known as Kilmartin may have been a very important center of activity to prehistoric peoples.
In addition to the fascinating historical monuments, I wanted to show you some views of the beautiful scenery. It is a very green with lots of farmland with mountains in the background.
|one of the rain storms|
The day we visited, the weather was mostly sunny but at times severe rain storms blew through. It was a good idea not to be too far from the car or some sort of shelter. One of these surprise rain storms happened when we were taking a short walk to visit Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve. Moine Mhor or ‘Great Moss’ has been here for more than 5000 years and once covered much of the glen but people drained it and claimed the land for farming. It is home to lots of wildlife. It has a boardwalk so you can walk out over the bog. It was sunny when we left the car in the parking area but by the time we reached the boardwalk, the sky grew dark and the rain started. We rushed back through the small stand of woods but were almost drenched by the time we reached the car. It was a fun time! LOL
|a walk through the woods to Moine Mhor|
|Moine Mhor or 'Great Moss'|
Nether Largie South Cairn was the first historic site we visited. It is the oldest of the cairns in the area. It is a Neolithic chambered tomb, called a ‘Clyde type’ of tomb. Many of these are found in Argyll. Apparently some people climb down into it. (Not me.) And I don’t know if the general public can climb down or only specific people. We didn’t know much about the area and missed seeing the North and Mid cairns.
|Nether Largie South Cairn|
I took the below photos of the information posted at Nether Largie South Cairn so you can read all about it.
Above is a map of the glen, showing Kilmartin Village at the top. Now you can see why we missed the first two cairns. They were on a separate little road which we must have assumed was a driveway or farm road. The area is filled with farms and a few houses here and there. There are very few signs for guidance.
Nether Largie Standing Stones contains 5 upright stones or pillars that form an X shape, two at each end and one in the middle. Also in the middle is a small cairn. It is unknown what the site was used for. Some think it may have been a lunar observatory.
Much of Kilmartin Glen was covered in peat bog from the year 900 AD until the 1800s when it was drained, cleared of peat and used for farming. This is one reason so many of the prehistoric monuments were preserved. Unfortunately, some of the stones from the monuments and cairns were used (in the 1800s) for building other things like roads, walls and drains. Since the monuments were also exposed prior to the year 900 some of the stones may have been taken away before then.
I have so many interesting pictures, I’ll share more about Kilmartin Glen later.
To learn more about the history of Kilmartin Glen check out this article.
Hope you enjoyed the virtual tour!