Isle of Arran

Western Scotland burial sites
Western Scotland burial sites
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King’s Cross Point burial mound
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Dun and Holy Island from burial site

 

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Dun and Lamlash Bay

Arran

Arran

In 1909 a cremation burial was found in a boat-shaped stone setting under mound (now with the excavation trench through it). It included a mid-late 9th century whalebone plaque, a Northumbrian styca of Archbishop Wigmund (837-54), and items suggesting a casket. It is within metres of a circular fort (‘dun’) on a high promontory (24m) south of Lamlash Bay, where another burial was found. The dun and stone-setting are made of red sandstone, which is not available locally, so the dun may have been ‘robbed’ to create the burial setting. The boat points towards Holy Island. This is one of the most prominently positioned burials in Scotland and would have been visible to passing boats.

GPS: N 55° 30.555, W 005° 04.809
NGR: NS 0559 2825

J.A. Balfour, 1909, ‘The ecclesiastical remains on the Holy Island, Arran’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 43: 371-5.

19 thoughts on “Isle of Arran

  1. Im interested in this article, do you also know there is a very large stone hidden in the trees on the shore line between cordon and kings cross,with viking writing on it? As a child, used to picnic along this area every summer, in fact we used to call it the vikings grave. …obviously it wasn’t…but then what was it? have never seen any reference any where about this stone, does anyone remember this?
    there was a ruined cottage not far from it I gather from my mother the kids used to walk from the cottage to the school at the other end of the village..

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    1. Hi, I hadn’t heard about the stone, but wish that I had! Do you happen to have a photograph of it? It isn’t featured in The Scandinavian Runic Inscriptions of Britain by Barnes and Page, 2006 (which includes the Holy Island inscriptions), but I don’t know if that is because they rejected it, or didn’t know about it.

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    2. im in Arran just now, yesterday we visited the burial site. Now I know about it I’m going to look for the stone in the next day or so . I’ll post a picture if found

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      1. Hi Alan, I will be very interested to hear how you go, and I’m very pleased that this website has been of some use/interest!

        cheers
        Shane

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  2. I am going to make a concentrated effort to find this stone again next summer, it is on the shore line , long shallow shape with carved signs I think it may be red, (but maybe not)..but partly cover with brush., but I know it’s there I’ve seen it.

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  3. Yes, I visited this site, but where are the ‘markers’ there is nothing to say it was a Viking Site?

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    1. Sadly, that is the case – considering what a great site it is, I’m surprised that there isn’t an information board.

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      1. Yes, I informed the Tourist Information office at Brodick they didn’t seem interested?

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      2. There are a number of great Viking sites in Scotland without any kind of info for tourists. Things are a bit better in Orkney.

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      3. Oh, what about the Govan ‘hog-back’ Stones these are recorded as part of Scotland’s past….the Viking ‘calling card’ to Scotland

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      4. Yes, the Govan hogbacks are a notable exception. But I’m thinking more of burial sites, like the magnificent broch and burial mound at Castletown on the north coast – when I visited there was nothing there telling people what it is.

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  4. Did anyone find the rock with Viking inscriptions on it again and confirm that it was indeed viking writing ? I’m intrigued and excited to know more as I am on Arran now, thanks

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    1. We looked but only found one with a ‘modern’ name of a farm? There could be another but the vegetation is very high for you to try and walk around without damaging the ferns and flowers. Winter would be better. Have a great visit to Arran. Kathy

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  5. Hi Rachel, the stone was found, but it’s not Viking. Did you find the burial site and circular fort? Enjoy Arran!

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