Historic Scotland

Opening times

Auchagallon Cairn is open year-round.

Facilities

 

History

Auchagallon was probably built in the early Bronze Age, about 4,000 to 3,200 years ago. Important people were often buried in kerbed cairns then – the body was placed in a cist, or stone-lined burial chamber, beneath the ground. Prestigious objects were placed in the cist beside the body, and it was then covered with an elaborate stone cairn with a kerbed edge.

There are vague reports of diggers at Auchagallon in the 1800s finding a burial cist in the centre of the stone circle. But there is no actual record of what they found, if anything.

Stone circles are often believed to be aligned to cosmological or landscape features, though this has not yet been examined at Auchagallon. However, we can see that the smallest stones here have been placed on the seaward side of the circle.

Early civilisation

The ancient sites around this part of Arran’s west coast date to between 5,500 and 3,000 years ago. It was around this time our ancestors abandoned their hunter-gathering ways and put down roots. The fertile basin around Machrie Bay clearly supported a flourishing farming community at this time.

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