Dunchraigaig Cairn
Dunchraigaig Cairn
A Bronze Age cairn with 3 burial cists (inner chambers), in the heart of Kilmartin Glen
You could call Dunchraigraig the forgotten burial site of Kilmartin Glen. Most enthusiasts get excited about the linear cemetery that runs down the glen, consisting of Glebe Cairn, the three Nether Largie cairns, and Ri Cruin. Dunchragraig is out of the linear alignment, so perhaps doesn't get the attention it deserves. The site is about 1 mile south of Kilmartin, on the east side of the A819, and was erected about 2000 BC, around the same time as the other cairns.

The cairn is about 30 metres across and up to 2 metres high. It was excavated in 1864, when 3 burial chambers were discovered. The central chamber contained remains of several cremations over top of a skeleton laid out in a crouched position. More unusual, on the top of the slab covering the chamber a body had been laid out with its limbs straight.

The middle cist had remains of cremations, but the third cist caused great excitement; it contained the remains of 10 people, some cremated and some left unburned, beneath a huge capstone about 4.2 metres long. Interred with the bones were tools including a whetstone, flint knife, and stone axe. The unusual feature is simply that so many people were interred together, unlike usial Bronze Age custom.

A stone's thow away from the cairn is Baluachraig Cup and Ring marked stones, also in the care of Historic Scotland.

The cairn is rather oddly situated in a plantation of rare trees laid out in the Victorian period. The car park for Dunchraigraig is on the opposite side of the road to the cairn (i.e. on the east side), so be careful of traffic while crossing the road.