Dumfries & Galloway
Images were taken on film camera and scanned.
Cairnholy I was a Chambered cairn (NX 517 538)
This is a Clyde-type chambered cairn with an impressive curved facade of eight tall uprights reaching to 3m in height. A closing stone, now fallen, was in front of the entrance. The cairn measures 43m x 10m, and has been robbed of most of its material. The chamber is built with an inner and outer compartment, the inner one built as a box, inaccessible from the outer one.
The site was excavated in 1949 and among the objects found in the outer compartment were part of an axe of jadeite, a rare green stone imported from the Alps and a leaf-shaped arrowhead. The axe is kept in the Royal Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh. The acid soil conditions have dissolved the bones.
Some 150m up the lane is another chambered cairn .....
Cairnholy II another Chambered cairn (NX 518 540)
This Clyde-type chambered cairn measures about 21m x 12m and is not as elaborate. A 2.9m tall portal stone flanks the entrance, the second stone is broken. In front of the entrance there is a closing stone. The double chamber survives almost intact. It consists of slab-lined inner and outer compartments, a large capstone survives over the inner chamber.
Cairn Holy II is said to be the tomb of the mythical King Galdus. Even today small rituals are carried out on the site with people leaving flowers and candles.
Excavation in 1949 produced a leaf-shaped arrowhead, a flint knife and Beaker pottery. The finds are now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland in Edinburgh. From here Burl suggests you can walk to the two nearby circles.
This is said to be the burial place of King Galdus, as is Torhouse stone circle. Galdus is/was a mythical Scottish king, see Torhouse stone circle for more details.
Both of the following extracts come from, Legends of Galloway by James Denniston (1825), cp294.
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