Achnabreck Cup and Ring Marks
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Very large diameter carvings
The short answer is that we don't know. Were they ritual, symbolic, spiritual, or 'just' an artistic expression? There are more questions than answers. We don't really know how old they are; all we can do is suggest that most similar rock art was carved between 3500 and 1000 BC, and the Achnabreck symbols probably date to the older end of that range, about 3000 BC.
At Achnabreck there are very large concentric ring marks on several rocky outcrops. The rings usually surround rounded depressions, or cup marks, rather like the rings of Saturn surround that planet. Gutters run through some of the rings, usually radiating out and down. Perhaps they were used to channel water out of the cup, but again, we do not know why.
The most impressive feature at Achnabreck is the circumference of the largest rings. These approach 1 metre across - about 3 feet - and are among the largest ever discovered in Europe.
Achnabreck is signposted off the A819 just after it turns north into Kilmartin Glen. A forestry road runs east off the A road to a parking area, and from there a signed trail leads still further east for 500 metres to the carved stones. It should take no more than 10 minutes, and probably less, though good footwear is advisable as the trail can get wet and muddy. About 1 mile west are more carved stones at Cairnbaan, and there are still more at Kilmichael Glassary, 2 miles north.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Achnabreck Cup and Ring Marks
Address: Lochgilphead, Argyll and Bute, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Attraction Type: Prehistoric Site
Location: 1.5 miles northwest of Lochgilphead, just off the A816. Open access.
Website: Achnabreck Cup and Ring Marks
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Find other attractions tagged with:
Bronze Age (Architecture) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Cairnbaan Cup and Ring Marks - 1.2 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Kilmichael Glassary Cup and Ring Marks - 1.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Dunadd Fort - 1.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Ballymeanoch Stone Row - 3.6 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Dunchraigaig Cairn - 3.8 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Baluachraig Cup And Ring Marks - 3.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Ri Cruin Cairn - 4.2 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nether Largie Standing Stones - 4.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nearest Accommodation to Achnabreck Cup and Ring Marks:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Achnabreck Cup and Ring Marks. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.