Wednesday, 29 January 2014

More Abouts Cairns

Readers of the Diary may remember an entry in November about the purpose of placing a stone on a cairn, here.  It, and the comment from Matt, has made us more aware of the differences between, and the possible purposes of the many cairns we come across on our walks across this beautiful peninsula.  The one in this photograph is one of a rare kind, in which all the stones are evidently old - in this case, because all are covered in moss.  As can be seen, it's about a kilometre from Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse and, like many of the other old cairns, it occupies no more than a low hill.

Here's another, this one just to the south of Plocaig, with Sanna in the background, and it's so old that most of its lower part is lost under vegetation - and it's sited on no more than a pimple of a hill.

Possibly these cairns are markers, delineating the boundaries between fields or other land possessions, and perhaps some have a greater significance, such as grave markers.

According to local legend, this one is the cairn raised over the Norse chieftain, Mhuchdragain, killed by one of his vassals, Evun Cleireach, in 1266AD.  It lies beneath the shadow of Beinn ne h-Urchrach, close by the old road in to Kilchoan.

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