Historic Scotland

Opening times

Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns are open year-round.

 

Overview

Wander the lonely resting place of a mythical Scottish king at this pair of Neolithic burial monuments.

The two cairns of Cairn Holy are an impressive survival, particularly Cairnholy I with its concave façade of tall pillar stones. Their landscape position is equally impressive, situated on a hill offering fine views over Wigtown Bay. Both were built in the 4th millennium BC. They are known as Clyde Cairns, a type of tomb characteristic of southwest Scotland.

Both tombs are now open to the sky – their covering stones were robbed long ago to build field dykes. Cairn Holy I is the more elaborate of the two, while Cairn Holy II is said to be the tomb of the mythical Scottish king Galdus.