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Cairnholy Chambered Tombs

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Cairnholy Chambered Tombs are situated in Galloway southwest Scotland, 33 miles east of Stranraer, 37 miles west of Dumfries, just off the main A75 road.

The Tombs are free to visit with great views over Wigtown Bay from the the second tomb, that is situated 150 yards further up the road. Postcode: DG8 7EA

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There is a car park just off the A75, with a half mile walk up to the tombs. There is also a car park up at the tombs, as seen in the image top. It is a single lane road up to the tombs with passing places.

These tombs are believed to have been for farming communities that lived here between 6000 and 4000 years back. The two tombs are similar, but the first one is more elaborate, with a line of standing stones.

The chambers of both tombs have an inner and outer compartment. It is believed the inner chambers were the original ones. The outer chambers would have been added at a later date.

The tombs are fairly large, with Cairnholy I being over 100 feet long, with many people buried here over a few centuries.

1949 - the tombs were excavated, but the bones had dissolved leaving little evidence of who was buried here.

A number of items were found in the tombs, including an axe made of jadeite stone in the outer chamber of Cairnholy I. This is a hard green stone imported from the Alps, so indicated some of the people buried here were powerful and wealthy.

Cairnholy II is situated a short walk up the road next to Cairnholy Farm. This site has great views over Wigtown Bay.

This tomb seems to have been used also at a later time, as fragments of beaker pots were found during excavations in the late 1940s. Beaker pots are dated to 3000 to 2000 years back.

The large images from the link at the top of this page show the information boards with the two tombs, with more information and diagrams of the tombs.

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