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Ardnacross Kerb-Cairns and Standing Stones

Three kerb-cairns and the remains of two flanking settings of standing stones are situated on a platform in the hillside above Ardnacross 6 km north of Salen and 600 m WSW of the farm.

  • The largest cairn, at the south end of the group, is comparatively well preserved.  It measures 5.5 m in diameter and has a kerb of large boulders, which are almost continuous, except in the south-east quadrant where the perimeter has been destroyed by ploughing.  The cairn material is still about 0.4 m in height on the south side, but on the north it is virtually level with the surrounding ground
  • Several kerb-stones of a further cairn may be seen protruding through the turf 4.6 m to the north west.  This cairn is about 4 m in diameter and is some 0.2 m high on the south side
  • One metre to the north, five kerb-stones of a further cairn, about 3 m in diameter, are visible at ground level.

Both groups of standing stones appear to have been aligned NNE to SSW, but only one stone is still upright.

The south-east group comprises

  • one prostrate slab at least 2.3 m long and 1.1 m broad
  • a standing stone of rectangular section, 2.4 m high and 1.05 m x 0.5 m at the base, now leaning slightly to the south
  • a third slab, half of which is covered by turf, but which is at least 1. 9 m long and 1.25 m broad.

The three stones of the north-west group have all fallen and are partly obscured by turf, but the largest is at least 2.8 m long, 1.4 m broad and 0.35 m thick.

In 1990 excavation and survey was carried out to investigate the possible astronomical significance of the two stone rows at Ardnacross.  The one stone standing in the southern row and all three stones of the possible northern row are rapidly becoming overgrown.  The three kerb-cairns lie between the two rows and are badly damaged.  Excavation revealed the original position of one of the fallen stones in the southern row, which will allow the original orientation of the row to be determined.  Detailed surveys have been carried out to test hypotheses that the row was aligned on astronomical events and/or landscape features.  However, no conclusions are currently available.

Click here for a link to Dr Robert Pollock’s website, ‘Stones of Wonder’.

Grid reference NM 541 491