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The physical features of a place have a close bearing upon the antiquarian and historical facts connected with it. For
several miles, the united Parish of Killean and Kilkenzie runs along the seaboard on the west side of the peninsula of
Kintyre. The arable portion consists of a series of terraces and raised beaches. For example, you find the lowest and
higher and highest of those sea-beaches at Rhunahaorine, the lowest and higher at Killean and again, the lowest of
them to the south of Muasdale.

Parallel to the coast; from Rosehill to Port-a-mhorain, you come on the highest terrace of the seaboard. A narrow line
of red sandstone and cornstones stands between sea and land, from Tayintruan to the south march of Muasdale. The
red sandstone crops up, southwards, from Glenbarr on to Ballochantee.

Rising over the seaboard terraces to the east, the general formation is metamorphic rock, micaschist, with the limestone
and horneblend breaking through irregularly and to no considerable extent.

The geological conditions, the alternate elevation and submergence of the land, glacial action and the deposits left by
the snow cap as it ground its way across the peninsula to the western sea, combined to form a cultivable soil of no little
arable value. In the course of time, the land became a coveted possession, a battle-ground on which warring races and
clans strove for mastery.

Many would have felt what John Splendid said about his own country, "Far have I wandered, warring other folks' war,
for the humour of it and small wages, but here's the one place I've seen yet worth hacking good steel for in earnest.

And to this.fact, we think, is to be attributed the existence of a considerable number of hill-forts, extending from point
to point, along our western shores.

There stands immediately to the north of the water between Muasdale and Crubesdale, a fort known as "Dunnan
Famhair, the giants' dun. It crowns a lofty ivy-clad rock. From the west, its summit is inaccessible. To the east, the road
winding up the hill to Crubesdale Farm, brings one to a narrow pathway, by which the top can be reached.

The space enclosed by the low rampart extends to about 30 yards each way. A legend has floated down the stream of
time that here, at one time, lived a giant, who may be described as a pacifist.

From Muasdale, every fair day, the hills of Islay greet the eye and there, over the water, lived another mighty man of
valour. In comparison with him, Goliath of Gath would have presented a sorry figure. He was a man of war, even as
the Muasdale giant was a man of peace. He had sent challenge after challenge to the Kintyrean to come across to fight
him, which invitation was as often declined.

A day of the days, however, as they say in The Highlands, our amiable giant's wife, looking seawards, beheld the Islay
warrior wading across towards the coast, churning the water until it looked like the track of a torpedo destroyer, as he
forged his impetuous way across.

His head was in the clouds. The top of The Eiffel Tower could scarcely reach up to the garter at his knees, that held his
'sgian dubh' in its place.

"Ho ! Ho ! This big fellow is on his way to fight you", cried his wife to the man of stature within the fort. "What is to
be done ?" and, being a resourceful woman, she there and then made her plans.

Ere long, a thundering noise at the gate, announced that the giant had arrived. The lady of the fort crept on tip-toe to
the door, a finger on her lip.

"Hush !" she whispered, "Do not wake the child, he has had a bad night, teething and fractious all the time".

The island stranger looked within and, Lo ! extended from side to side of the spacious apartment, lay a tremendous

"I have come to fight your husband", quoth he, "but who may this be ?" "

"Who but our child," quoth the lady of the fort.

"Well," said the uninvited guest to himself, "if this be the child, I wonder what his sire is like ?" Then aloud, "My
compliments good wife, to my brother giant. Say I am sorry I did not chance to find him at home. In the meantime,
our contest can wait" and away he sped homewards in greater haste than he came. The challenge was not repeated.

Striding along the ridge of Kintyre, one of those standing stones, which are to be found here and there, from Cape
Wrath to Land's End, caught the toe of the giants brogue. He stumbled and, somewhat irritated, he stooped down,
plucked it out of the earth and flung it with all his might towards Gigha.

It landed there and sank several feet into the earth and, to this day, it can be seen there, wanting at the top, the bit that
broke off under the giant's thumb, as he hurled it into space.

Dun Donald stands on Crubesdale Farm, immediately to the north of Seafield Cottage. The fort is strongly posted on
the top of an isolated rock of considerable height. It must have been a building of no small size, judging from the
quantity of stones thrown down when the fort was demolished for they are now strewn down its sides.

Here, it is said, the ancient Lords of Kintyre held their courts of justice. Criminals sentenced to death were hurled
down the sheer face of the rock, despatched by executioners at the foot.

There is a version to the effect that if the accused were not killed by their fall, they were pronounced innocent. If, on
the other hand, the event proved fatal, their guilt was supposed to have been established.

Personally, I should like to see the stones carted away for road metal and the ground underneath trenched and the top
excavated. I think it probable that fragments of pottery, stone implements, or bits of bronze or iron weapons might
reward the search.

Less than a mile behind Muasdale village, picturesquely situated, overlooking Clachaig Glen and burn, stands Dun-
Clachaig, it must have been a fort of more than ordinary dimensions.

It occupies an isolated mound, very steep and high on the west side and with a gradual slope to the south and east. A
ring of massive stones marks out the line of circumvallation.

Between the foot of the dun and Crubesdale burn, I picked up a small quern, probably used by the women to grind the
meal for the morning porridge.

At Ach-na-hath, on the farm of South Muasdale, stands another hill-fort, beautiful for situation. Beneath it, to the west,
is the ascent of Bealach-a-Chaochain, with its cave at the foot of the rock.

It is probable that the cave dwellers, as they advanced in ideas of comfort and social well-being, migrated from the cave
to the dun. Stag horns were found in the vicinity of the cave when the public road there was made.

The dun does not appear to have been built in a day, any more than Imperial Rome itself. The ground plan can be
easily traced. The foundation is formed of huge blocks of undressed stones and, steep on the west side, the ascent from
south and east is somewhat long and gradual.

A parishioner, ploughing in the field lying to the east, informed me that he turned up two flint spear-heads. He kept
them for a considerable time. Eventually, he broke one of them and used the fragments as means for lighting his pipe.

At a time when matches were rarely used, men carried a bit of flint, brown paper, treated with a solution of saltpetre
and a steel instrument, which fitted round the fingers, called "cuach". With it they struck sparks from the flint and thus
ignited the pipe-lighting paper.

That alas was the last of the Muasdale Dun spear-head ! The other disappeared, probably in the course of house-
cleaning operations, proceedings which have much to answer for !

Auch-na-Alh, or Muasdale fort, has its own legend to boast of. The story goes that it was occupied at one time by no
less redoubtable a personage than Fionn MacCumhail himself, the Chief of the Fingalians. Having occasion to be
absent for war or foray, he left the fort in charge of his henchman, Gille Cocuil nan Craicionnn, meaning 'the lad of the
skin hoods or mantles'.

At the dead of night, down Eas-la-cruit, towards the fort, descended a beast of monstrous size in appearance like a bull.

Gile Cocuil nan Graicionnn stood in front of the gate to bar the entrance. Then began a battle grim and great. When
the combatants closed in deadly strife, you could hear the sound of their arms us they clashed, beyond the seven glens
and the seven bens and the seven moor mountains.

At length, the guardian of the fort, with a stroke of his claymore, swept off the monster's head. It rose high in the air,
descended, joined on to the colossal trunk and up sprang the monster, fit as ever for the fray.

The fabled Antaens thrown down, rose up, with renewed vigour, every time he touched his mother earth. The monster
of the glen must have been of his race and lineage. The lad of the skin-hoods repeated his feat of arms, the head
behaved as before but, ere it could regain its place, a voice fell on the warrior's ear "Lay the flat of the sword against
the marrow".

This he instantly did and down came the head like a thunder-bolt, but only to strike the ground, with a terrific thud and
sink deep into earth.

The victor gained fame, rivalling that of Fionn himself. "Truth is stranger than fiction".

Wonderful to relate, Gille Cocuil nan Craicionnn steps into the light of history, as any one may read, in Dr Douglas
Hyde's learned "Story of Early Gaelic Literature".

His name was Muircheartach, son of Niale glun dubr, high King of Ireland. "This great o'Niale,"' he says, well deserves
a poet's praise, for having captured Sitric, the Danish Lord of Dublin, Ceallachan of Munster, the King of Leinster, and
the royal heir of Connocht, he voluntarly surrenders them to the High King at Tara.

In the 10th or 11th century an Irish poet, Gormac an Eigea-s, celebrated the martial prowess of Muircheartach.

According to Dr Douglas Hyde, Fionn lived in the 2nd century of our era. The legend of Dun-Mhuasdail illustrates the
fact that folk-lore pays scanty respect to chronological exactitude, bringing persons face to face, between whose
respective ages whole centuries intervened.

I have no particulars to relate about Dun Dhaibhidh or Dun Cachaileith Mhiceil other than that they both stand near
Crubesdale shore.

"Stac a chrochain", the hangman's rock and "stac a chacain", the whispering rock, are in the immediate neighbourhood,
the first associated with a summary method of administrating justice, the second said to whisper musical sounds into
the listener's ear.

On the edge of the high escarpment looking down on the machir at Paitean burying-place, 'paitean' itself means
'hummocks', is Dun Chealaidh.

It must have been a spacious fort. It occupies a space extending to a point 100 yards or thereby, behind the brow of the
hill. There are traces of outbuildings or other enclosures scattered around the level area about the fort. The name may
mean the "Dun of Vision", but again it may be "Kelly's fort", the site commands a truly magnificent prospect.

Looking westward, the plain of The Atlantic stretches away, with not so much as a rock to obstruct the view between
that spot and the coast at Labrador.

To the left, The Mull of Kintyre and Rathlin, inclining to the right Islay, further round Jura and to the north, Knapdale,
Scarba and beyond, the crests of Ben Mor, Ben Talla and Ben Charnach in Mull. The headlands of Islay, the one
stretching out behind the other, in front of our post of observation, suggests a topic of geographical nomenclature.

The works of the famous geographer Ptolemy, the father of scientific geography, who nourished in the 2nd quarter of
the 2nd century (127 - 151) include a map of Scotland. The celebrated Alexandrian presents us with a valuable
document, but eccentric withal. For, as if he had turned it on a hinge, he places Scotland at right angles to England, the
whole jutting out into the German Ocean.

To identify the islands is no simple task. Two of them he names "Aebredae", obviously Bute and Arran. "Malaos" is
doubtless Mull. Near it he places "Epidium", which, in my opinion, corresponds to Jura and Cape Epidium to the
peninsula of Kintyre.

But, the unit of the group in which I am specially interested, is the one he names "Engaricina" or, as it appears in some
MSS, "Rhicina" because, I hold a theory of my own about the meaning of the word.

I am strongly of opinion that it means "Garbhcheanna", the bold or rough headlands, otherwise The Mull of Oa and
The Rhinns (points) of Islay.

I think it a startling fact that Ptolemy should have preserved for us the ancient Celtic name of Islay in this form.

"Rhicina", the alternative name is, I take it, connected with "Rinn", points and "Cinn", heads.

One would like to know whether there are any Celtic MSS that might go to support that rendering, or any local place
name reminiscent of it. We had a corresponding case a few years ago, when the ancient name of Kintyre, "Aird-
Eachaidh" was discovered inIrish records.

Less than a mile to the south of Ballochantee, the public road skirts Dun Phuiteachan. It crowns an isolated massive
rocky mound of no great height, between the road and the sea.

When the present road was constructed in 1777, workmen excavating at the place dug up gold rings or bracelets. It was
a case of "he who finds keeps".

I had this information from the late Mr L. Clark of Tangy, in 1894. He was not aware of the ultimate destination of the

The derivation of the place name Puiteachan presents a problem. One writer on this subject connects it with "put", a
young of moorfowl or young seafowl. It is unquestionably the case that wild duck with their young broods frequent this
coast. My own theory is that it is derived from "put" or "buta", a point or butt. A glance at the map shows that here the
coast line runs out into a promentary and Puiteachan, I take it, means "point field".

Cognate words are "put", a buoy; "putag", an oar pin; "putan", a button and "Am buta Leodhsach", The Butt of Lewis.

Near the march between Killegruer and Auchadaduie, at a bend of the Barr River, is Dun chile a Ghruthair. The rising
ground, on which it stands, steep on the side near the river. The slope is gradual on the south and east. It is veritably a
place of stones, Gilgai, a vast quantity lying on the south face.

I was told that there were as many on the opposite side, but that they were carted away to build dykes. There is an
immense loch in South Uist, Loch Druitibeg, which is studded with numerous islets. On those are heaps of stones
frequented during the nesting season by countless numbers of seabirds, many varieties of sea-gulls and sea-swallows.
Their nests lie thick on the ground, "What a place to sack", as Blucher said, when he rode through London.

What places were these islands before the Act for the preservation of seabirds was put on the Statute Book.

It was a schoolboys' paradise and what spoil of seabirds eggs we carried away. Cill a Gruer Dun brought back to my
recollection the stone heaps of Loch Druitibeg islands.

What race of people constructed them and for what purpose, if indeed they are artificial, or are merely glacial deposits,
are questions for which a solution would be extremely interesting.

On Drumalea shore there is columnar-like rock, the flat top of which bears traces of having been fortified. A local
gentleman plants and grows potatoes on the summit, thus changing its associations from war to the arts of peace.

A conical hillock at Claongart stream and gateway, judging from remains of stones thrown down its side, seems to have
been at one time a place of strength.

What must have been a dun of considerable size and strength occupied the top of a rising ground behind Rhunahaorine
village. There is a clump of wood behind the dun. It has been suggested that the wood afforded shelter for women,
children and stock while the men under arms, holding the fort, repelled invasion.

Known as "An Teampull", within a short distance of Largie Castle, is a mound of imposing height, its summit enclosed
by a wall and the space within laid out like a flower-garden, entered by a massive stone gateway, built of singular-
looking stones, with traces of masonry outside the entrance. The name distinctly associates it with worship. Its present
condition indicates that aiructural changes have been wrought on the place, at a comparatively recent time.

The name is not a common one in our land, but it is shared by Teampull na Trianaid in North Uist, a shrine with lines
of distinction in its ruins, Teampull Dhe, in Taransay and Teampull na h-annait in Killigray, islands in The Sound of
Harris. There is one in Lewis. There is a Temple in Dumbarton and Gorebridge, Dalkeith.

The latter are of Scan origin, supposed to be connected with The Knights Templars, but it is a question whether the
same can be affirmed of the local one.

At the side of the road to Braid, nearly opposite Kilmory, is Dun Achalaosgam. But for a narrow neck of land next the
road, a deep gorge, through which runs a stream, surrounds the dun.

A legend relates that, in the course of a scrap, a notable horseman leapt his steed over the yawning gulf flanking the

Here is "lub an Eich Chloimhich", not a prepossessing title, the mangy-horse dub or pool. Is the kelpie or water-horse,
meant ?

At Braid is "loch an Eich". It is said that a horse on the way to market bolted, shook off the hems at Braid, the collar at
Tigh-an t-sergain and another part of its harness at Tigh-an-t-easgain and disappeared into "loch an Eich". From that
day to this no trout are to be found in it.

A proposal to re-stock the loch. with trout was turned down on the plea that the horse would certainly consume them,
a local shepherd averred that he had seen its foot-prints in the snow.

On the farm of Rosehill, is a hillock on the ridge above the shore called "Carnan-fionn". Within the memory of people
still living, there was a cairn of considerable size on its summit. There was also an underground passage at the place.

An old man told me that many years ago, he groped his way for some distance through this passage. The stones were
carted off and the plough driven over the hillock, obliterating its peculiar features. It looks as if there had been a pre-
historic earth-dwelling here.

About a quarter of a mile to the south, on Glenacardoch farm, is a cone-shaped height called "Cnocan na-te-riabhaich".
At the foot is a foundation of a house, said to have been occupied by the person who bore this sinister name, the
grizzly one.

The house had seven doors, for the lady is reputed to have had seven husbands, each of whom entered the house by a
private door.

It's a weird tale. How did the folk come to know of the Tibetan matrimonial heresy? I am disposed to break a lance in
defence of my quondan parishioner, to submit a plea of not guilty.

The probability is that she was a much maligned woman, in advance of her age and paying the penalty, emancipated, an
intellectual and therefore suspect, her house constructed to give free admission to the vital elements of earth, sea and
sky, at a time when people lived in dark, in-wholesome earth dwellings.

Were her consorts spiritual and not social, the seven gifts of woman, as Dr Neil Munro describes them, "Contentment
and gentleness, looks and liking, truth, simplicity and the fear of God".

I am all the more disposed to accept this rendering of the legend, because the name may not be "te riabhach", but "tir
riabhach", brindled or brown land hillock, divesting the place of all personal associations of an unamiable kind.

Between Blary and Auchaduie, in Barr Glen, is "Cnocan nan sithichean", a long narrow ridge and to the north "Cnocan
nam piobairean", where an engagement is said to have taken place, in which seven pipers of the Clan Keith fell.

"Cnocan nam ban", is on the farm of Charlittown. It was so named because newly-born children were spirited away by
fairies. Near this fairy hill is "Cnocan na Cainntaireachd", because of the melodious sounds which the quick ear of
imagination heard proceeding from it. The fairies were supposed to pass, by an underground way from the one fairy hill
to the other.

An old farmer told me that ploughing here many years ago, the share turned up a great quantity of broken pottery.
"Bha chriosdachd de phigeachan ann". he said. Doubtless he had crashed through a prehistoric burying, containing

A lingering tradition that it was a prodian burying-place, may go to account for its association, in the popular mind,
with the fairies. We often hear it said fairies, "Sithichean", meant "the peaceful people", from 'sith', peace, I feel
convinced that it is a mistake.

"Sithichean" means 'height dwellers', from "sith", a height. "Sithean" is a height of greater or less elevation. You have
"Schihallion", mighty ben, on the one hand and "Sithean", in Morven, rising several hundred feet over The Sound of
Mull. "Stron-an-t-Sithein" on Loch Suaart and again many places of inconspicuous height bearing the same name.

As a matter of fact, the Sithichean were not peaceful people at all. They were quite the opposite. Malicious, malevolent,
tricky, mischevious, thieving beings.

In other words, they were the aborigines, driven by the new settlers off the plains and chased away to the heights or
mountainous parts of the country. There they supported a precarious existence, living by their wits, preying upon their
more favourably situated and more prosperous neighbours, plying the weapons of the weak and oppressed, gaining, by
means of cunning and dexterity .and magical arts what they could not secure by force of arms.

They were called "na daoine beaga", the little folk, as an alternative to "sithiehean", pointing to the conclusion that they
were a physically inferior race.

Probably they stood for the "fir bolg", the sack-men, perhaps connecting them with the mines whose products they
carried in sack, to sell to the Phoenician or other ancient traders. Or it may have been because they were a migratory
folk, going about from place to place, with their goods and chattels borne on their backs in sacks.

In either case, it is evident they "got the sack", dispossessed by the Tuath-de-Dannan, probably representing the Celtic
race, who succeeded them in occupation of the land, driving the remnant to the more inaccessible and least serviceable
parts of the country and there they became known as "sithichean" or "Daoine beags".

"We may infer that swarthy, dark-haired and black-eyed Irishmen and Highlanders of diminutive stature, have in their
composition a large element an the Iberian or Silurian race. Many of these are very bright minded and in 'Joannes
Scotus Erigina', we have instance of such a man.

Charles 'The Bald' of France invited him to court, because he alone was found capable of translating Greek works. John
was a great favourite of the King.

Being a little man, he was sitting at dinner between two big portly bishops when The King asked him to divide the fish
between the Bishops and himself, there being two big fishes and a small one.

He cut the small fish in two and gave one half to each Bishop. "Have you divided fairly ?" said the King. "Yes", he said,
"here are two big ones and a little one", pointing to the Bishops and then, pointing to his own plate "here are two big
ones and a little one".

In a sandy knoll, immediately within the policy grounds of Largie Castle, near Tayinloan bridge, there was earthed a
bronze sword, wanting grip, but showing the point. Also a bronze axe: in the socket, a bit or wooden handle remained
fixed. These articles are preserved in the castle.

The late Mr Clark of Tangy informed me that in Tangy hill moss, there were found two broken bronze swords, one had
a tang with rivets for fixing grip. The fragments were given to the late Colonel Eddington (of Glencreggan). Reference
has already been made to the ring and bracelets dug up at Dun Phuiteachan.

At Killean was unearthed a penannular gold bracelet, in a perferct state of preservation. It may possibly have been worn
by a British Princess in The Bronze Age period, say 1,500 years B.C.. There also was found a crown-piece of Philip IV
of Spain, from around 1605 - 1655.

There are standing stones at Beachara, Muasdale, Barlea, Barrmains and Balnagleck. Within a few yards of the Beach-
arragh stone is a pre-histonc burying-ground, "leac an fhamhair". It was explored some years ago by members of The
Campbeltown Antiquarian Society, when urns of The Stone Age period and some jet ornaments were discovered. They
are now deposited in the museum of The Campbeltown Free Public Library.

The ruins of the old Castle of Largie stand over against the village of Rhunahaorine. The name by which the whole
district is commonly known is derived from the sloping ground between the castle and the road, "learg", a little
eminence or sloping declivity of a hill.

A former tenant of the castle farm told me that near the old building was a wall adjoining the farm steading. "While
making repairs or alterations here, a piece of the old wall fell. It must have been built with that extra-ordinarly strong
mortar used in olden times for, in falling, the wall did "not break into fragments but came down in the shape of a huge

On examining the foundation, the narrator discovered an urn and having greater veneration for objects of that kind
than is common in our day, he hurriedly and religiously replaced it and covered it up. He thought that he might have a
difficulty in identifying the spot, all the old land marks having in the course of time been removed.

On the farm of Barlea, to the north or the standing stone, there is a small mound with a heap of stones on top. The
remains of a stone cist lies at the centre.

Two of the stone slabs are in almost the original position : the corresponding ones have been removed from their
respective places, to within a short distance.

A stone cist, containing bones, was unearthed by the former tenant of Kilmahoe farm, when ploughing in a field where
a chapel is said to have stood.

Opposite Glencreggan's North Lodge, on the brow of the hill overlooking the shore, there is a small heap of stones
and massive stone slabs, which evidently formed the side pieces of a cist.

There was a burying ground at Auchadaduin, at Kilmaluag, at Kilmory, at Killegruer and at High Dunashery.

A tenant farmer of the name of Macdougall, known to parishioners, whom I knew personally, witnessed an interment
at Kilmaluag. I have seen a stone, built into a wall, near the farmhouse, with an incised cross. Whyte has a drawing of it
in his valuable work, the stone cannot now be traced.

A Killean man told me that he turned up a vast number of stones when ploughing the field near the houses at Kilmory.

At Uchd-an-tuir, in Tangy Glen, near the edge of the high ground behind the village, there was a place of interment. It
was a dedication to St. Maelrube. The probability is that there was a chapel here. There are fine drawings of the
sculptured stones in old Killean Church and in Kilchenzie Church in Whyte's volume, the former goes back to the
13th century.

It is on record that the monks of Saddell Abbey gave sepulture, in the chapel of the abbey, to Haco's chaplain, who
died in Gigha in 1263. I believe that by the chapel of the abbey is meant old Killean Church for it was served by a vicar,
in olden times, one of the community of Saddell Abbey.

Ploughing a field on Dalmore farm, a parishioner told me that at one spot he turned up hundreds of flint chips. He
must have lighted on what was in early days a flint smithy.

An amusing find is connected with "creag an airgiod", a rock off Muasdale shore. An old woman, engaged in gathering
"maorach", shellfish, pulled out a crab from its crevice. Held tenaciously in the crab's claw was a coin of the realm, one
shilling sterling, the crustacean, it was commonly accepted, hailed all the way from Aberdeen !

How the excellent people are supposed to have such a firm grip of 'sillar' is surprising, for they are, in my own
experience, generous and hospitable folk.

But, talking of finds in unexpected quarters, James Boswell puts it on record in his incomparable "Journal of A Tour in
The Hebrides", that Pennant was presented with a denarius of Trajan, in Kingsburgh, in The Isle of Skye. How did it
get there ? A soldier of fortune from the misty island may possibly have served in the wars waged beyond the confines
of Caledonia, after the departure of the Romans in the 5th century and brought back the denarius, a part of the spoils,
all the way to Skye, where it found a sanctuary for 1,300 years.

Our district can contribute its quota of cup-marked stones. There is a good specimen on Killocraw farm, beyond the
wall running between the pasture land and the moor.

It is a short distance to the north of the shepherd's house. It bears about twenty cup-marks, with ducts or gutters
connecting the cup depressions to each other. It's length is roughly 12 feet long by 6 feet broad. The longest line of axis
is E.S.W..

There is another, forming a gate post in the boundary wall between the arable and hill ground in Gaigan farm.

These stones are found in Scandanavia, France, Germany and Switzerland, as well as in our own country. To the
question, what is their origin, some suggest that it is sacrificial, the victims slaughtered on the stone, the blood running
into the cups through the gutters or ducts. Others maintain that it is astronomical, they are star-maps they tell us.

One learned in the science finds the constellation of the plough depicted on one of them. And the change that has
taken place in the relative positions of the stars in the course of the ages, helps him to guess the interval of time
between the pre-historic and the modern astronomer.

Between Killocraw and Putechan there is a stream spanned by a narrow bridge with a high arch. Here two funeral
processions met. Both parties had been entertained on too liberal a scale. Neither would yield precedence to the other.

They came to blows and several fell on both sides. A memorial of the disaster is preserved in the name of the stream,
"Allt-na-Dunach", the stream of misfortune.

Near Port-an-duin, already referred to gushing from the foot of a rock close to the sea, is a well called "tobar na
foinneachan", or 'the well of the warts'. It was believed to have healing properties, which effectually removed these

On the farm of Barrmains is "Tobar Mhichril", close to it is a heap of small white pebbles, doubtless the votive
offerings of patients visiting the well.

"Tobar ant Sagairt" supplied the church of St. Kenneth in Kilchenzie. It is also called "Tobar a chath", the battle well or
more probably the well of the patron Saint of Kilmaho, probably "Tobar Mochoe".

There were eight saints of that name. The oldest of them was Mochoe of Nolundrium, in Ulster, who died 496 A.D..

'No district of Scotland so rich in Saints as Kintyre', says Professor Watson.

The well was cleaned out some years ago, when there was found a square dressed piece of silver mica, 2½ by 3½
inches, perforated in centre and with two incised concentric rings. On the inner ring are seven punctuated holes and
immediately outside the outer ring are nine larger holes. The opposite side is ornamented with several small punctures.

The stone was probably connected with charm working. A small square block of white sandstone, with a socket hole on
the upper surface, probably a stand for a cross or image, was also found in the well. I have quoted from the account
given in the "Campbeltown Courier", the articles mentioned are in the Campbeltown Museum.

At Paitean there is a mound of sand, on which rests a heap of stones, partially covered with earth. It is evidently
artificial and probably marks a spot on which were buried the bodies of men who fell in battle.

The legends preserved for us in our folk-lore seem so absurd and worthless as to deserve no attention whatsoever. We
must not however take them at their face value. They are an index of the mentality of the people among whom they
originated. In his "Heroes and Hero Worship", Carlyle has tales to tell which bear a strong family resemblance to our
West Highland Tales. He finds in them a key to the outlook of the worshippers of Thor and Woden. The people who
placed those pictures on their canvas did not lack vision nor imagination. They had a gift of wonder. They were artists
of sorts. They can't throw off their ideas in living forms. May we not, after all, give them a place among the fore-
runners of our Scotts and Stevensons and Munros.

Early Christian

(i) A tapered slab, measuring 0.51 m in length, 0.33 m in maximum width at the upper corners and 0.10 m in thickness,
was found during the coarse of the survey and has been deposited in Campbeltown Museum. The top edge and one of
the sides have been slightly cut down to adapt the stone for secondary use.

On the front in false relief there is a cross with crosslets in the angles, each of the crosslets having pellets in the
quadrants. The back displays a cross only, similar to that on the opposite face and also in false relief. The lower margin
has been rebated to fit into a socket-stone, and it seems likely that the slab originally stood upright on the top of a free-
standing "altar" of the type found in association with Early Christian ecclesiastical sites in Ireland, and there known as
leachtai. Several slabs bearing similar decoration occur, for example, within and around the cashel on the island of
Inishmurray, Co. Sligo, while on the shaft of an Irish-type cross at Kilmartin there is a cross with crosslets between the

(2) In the family vault of the MacDonalds of Largie there is a cross-shaped stone (Fig. 140), the arms of which have
been broken off. It measures 1.85 m in height, 0.36 m in width and 0.10 m to 0.13 m in thickness. On the front is the
incised outline of a cross with rounded armpits.


Numbers 3 - 16 are all late medieval tombstones. One (16) is in the churchyard, the rest being in the MacDonald vault.

(3) Tapered slab, 1.50 m long by 0.46 m wide at the head. The bottom right corner is broken off. It bears, within a
margin, the incised outline of a two-handed sword having a round pommel with a pronounced tang-button, and
straight quillons with expanded terminals.

(4) Tapered slab, 1.88 m long by 0.61 m wide at the head, bearing the full-length effigy of a knight in high relief. He
wears a pointed bascinet, an aventail or coif of mail, and a quilted tunic reaching to the knees. The right hand is
gauntleted and grips the roll-moulding bordering the edge of the slab as though the artist also intended this to represent
a spear, while the left hand holds a small shield on which is a galley with furled sail and another object too worn to be
identified. A sword having a lobated pommel and inclined quillons with expanded terminals is suspended from a belt at
the waist. The flat spaces round the figure are decorated with animals and foliaceous ornament. Iona school, 14th -
15th century.

(5) Tapered slab, 1.85 m long by 0.43 m wide at the head. A cleric in vestments, sculptured in low relief, occupies a
central niche. Below the feet there is a chalice, and above the niche a worn black-letter inscription, eleven or twelve
lines in length, which begins hic iacet /d(omi)n(u)s bric/us macp[i]l/[ip ... and ends ... vic[a]rius et / d(omi)n(u)s l[achl] an /us
finl/ai me / fecit ("Here lies sir Gilbride MacKillop ... vicar and sir Lachlan son of Finlay made me.

(6) Tapered slab, 1.96 m long by 0.51 m wide at the head. Within a double plain moulding there is a sheathed sword
with a lobated pommel and inclined quillons with bulbous terminals; the scabbard ends in a chape. To the left of the
sword are two intertwined foliaceous stems surmounted by twin beasts, while on the right is a two-line inscription in
Lombardic capitals reading + IOHA(N)NES EVGENl(I) FIL(lVS) / + HVNC LAPIDEM SIBI ET PAT(R)I svo ("John,
son of Ewan, had this stone made for himself and his father"). Below the inscripton there is an otter pursuing a salmon,
a bird, a stag-hunt, a pair of shears, and, at the foot of the stone, a casket and a comb. Kintyre school, 15th century.

(7) Fragment of a tapered slab measuring 1.78 m long; the top right corner and the whole of the left margin are broken
off. It bears a sword similar to that on (6) above, with a pair of shears to the left of the hilt and a rectangular object,
possibly a casket, to the right. On the left of the scabbard is a comb and a two-line inscription in Lombardic capitals of
which only the first word + IOHA(N)NES (John) is legible, while on the right are two intertwined foliaceous stems
surmounted by twin beasts. The lower part of the stone shows several creatures including a stag pursued by hounds, a
doe, and and a goose. Kintyre school, 15th century.

(8) Tappered slab fractured across the centre and measuring 1.96 m long by 0.51 m wide at the top. A sword similar to
that on (6) above is flanked on the left by a narrow strip of plaitwork and on the right by two intertwined stems
enclosing leaves of palmette form. In the lower portion of the slab there is a twelve-cord plait and a single hound
pursuing a stag. Kintyre school, 15th century.

(9) Tapered slab with scalloped head, 1.88 m long by 0.48 m in maximum width. It has a central sword, similar to that
on (6) above, flanked on the left by two intertwined foliaceous stems terminating at the top in a pair of beasts. On the
right of the sword, in descending order, are a square piait, a plain tablet, a comb and a deer-hunt. Kintyre school, 15th

(10) Tapered slab with scalloped head, 1.83 m long by 0.43 m in maximum width. The decoration is similar to that on
(9), except that a pair of shears takes the place of the square plait in the upper right-hand corner and there is another
plain tablet immediately below the comb. Kintyre school, 15th century.

(11) Tapered slab measuring 1.78 m long by 0.41 m wide at the top. At the head there is a pattern composed of circular
knots, and below this a diaper of four intertwined foliaceous stems surmounted bv two pairs of beasts. At the foot of
the slab is a casket and an inscription in Lombardic capitals reading: HI[C IA]CET SIAN/E M(AC)ONILL FCLIA /
DU[G]HAIL ("Here lies Sine MacDonald, daughter of Dougal"). Iona school, 15th century.

(12) Tapered slab pointed at both ends and measuring 1.65 m in maximum length by 0.56 m wide at the upper corners.
The decoration is bordered by a triple plain moulding and the main element in the design is a central sword similar to
that on (6) above. Above the pommel is an c laborate pattern of interlaced stem-circles and foliage, and on either side
of the blade is a foliaceous scroll forming five circles. To the left of the hilt is a curious creature with the haunches of
an animal and the head of a man wearing a peaked cap; around the neck is a collar and chain, the latter being wrongly
represented as a tendril in White's drawing. The space on the right of the hilt has been reserved for an inscription, but
this has never been cut, the letter "H" shown in White's drawing being a later addition. Iona or Loch Sween school,
15th century.

(13) Tapered slab, 1.63 m long by 0.53 m wide at the head, very worn in places; it is similar in general design to the
preceding slab and was probably carved by the same man. At the head is a foliaceous cross with plain interlace at the
centre, and below this a sword flanked on each side by a foliaceous scroll terminating in in animal. The decoration is
bordered by a triple plain moulding. Iona or Loch Sween school, 15th century.

(14) Tapered slab, r88 m long by 0-43 m wide at the head, with a triple moulding round the edge. It bears a central
sword, similar to that on (6) above, which is surmounted by a foliaceous cross and flanked on either side by an
undulating foliaceous stem. At the foot is a plain tablet. 14th - 15th century.

(15) Fragment of a tapered slab 1.68 m long; very worn. All that can be seen are traces of a central sword flanked by a
straight stem with foliage on the right and a foliaceous scroll on the left. 14th to early 16th century.

(16) A fragment of a tapered slab measuring 1.17 m in length, about 0.38 m in maximum width and 0.10 m in thickness.
The lower portion of the slab is missing and the upper end has been severely trimmed; the edges are bevelled and
exhibit double roll-mouldings.


Among the later churchyard-monuments mention may be made of the following :

(17) A headstone commemorating Angus McAlester, who died in 1710, and Alexander McAlester in Drummor
(Drumore), who died in 1713. The back of the stone bears the emblems of mortality together with an armorial
achievement, the shield bearing, for MacAlister, quarterly : 1st, a dexter hand fessways holding a cross-crosslet fitchee;
2nd, a salmon naiant; 3rd, a galley sails furled; 4th, two mullets in pale.

(18) A headstone commemorating William Smylie, son to John Smylie in Bar, and his two brothers Samuel and
Matthew. William died in 1754 and his brothers a year later. The back of the stone bears what appears to be the incised
date 1733, together with the trade insignia of a mason.

(19) A headstone commemorating Niell McGill, sailor, who died in 1712, and his son, Rodger, who died in 1738. An
inscription at the apex of the stone records its erection by Niell McGill in 1759. The back of the stone is carved in relief
with a Psextant and compasses, a sailing-ship and an hour-glass (PI. 44A). Beneath is the seaman's conventional epitaph

(20) A headstone erected by William McKimion, sailor from Largie, in memory of his father, Alexander McKinnon,
tenant in Gortinfall, who died in 1788. The back of the stone bears a crudely carved representation of a sailing ship, and
a sextant ? and compasses, these latter devices being accompanied by the incised inscription : WALK BY THIS &TC.

(21) A headstone commemorating Donald McKinnon, late farmer at Laigh Gortanafaull, who died in 1810. The back
of the stone bears a spirited representation of a two-horse plough team.

(22 - 23) Nothing (in July 1965) can now be seen of the fragment of a cross and socket-stone mentioned by White, nor
of the stone basin mentioned by White and Thomson.