Archaeology of the Glen

From the early 1960s through until the 1980s the Cowal History and Archaeology Society were busy exploring the Cowal peninsular recording evidence of human activity. Sites of interest discovered in Glendaruel include rock carvings which where possibly created up to 6000 years ago, hut circles, indicating the presence of neolithic timber houses also possibly 6000 years old, burial chambers of the same period, earthwork enclosures, early Christian cells (kils) or chapels, battle sites, Viking burials, evidence of medieval occupation and, of course, 18th and 19th century buildings including our beautiful church dedicated to St Moden. 

Rock carvings: the carvings found in Glendaruel are simple cup marks, some of which are surrounded by rings and a few dumbell formations. There are 4 sites in the hills to the west of the glen and one known site to the east within the community forest. In 2018 Scotland’s Rock Art Project began; for 3 years teams of volunteers trained by Dr. Tertia Barnett Professor of Archaeology at Historic Environment Scotland (HES) searched the country for known and previously unrecorded examples. Here in Glendaruel one formerly recorded carving could not be found but we were compensated by the discovery of another which had not before been recorded. What was the significance of these carvings to the people who created them? There are many theories but so far, it’s anybody’s guess; to understand, we would need to live the life of a person present here some 3,000 to 6,000 years ago.

For more information on the glen’s pre-history, please visit Kilmodan School’s Glen of the Red River website