Carnassarie Mor

During previous survey work undertaken by Kilmartin Museum a group of five possible structures was noted lying just to the south of the deserted township of Carnassarie Mor, none which appear on early maps of the settlement. In order to examine these possible structures, we undertook a two week excavation in June 2015. Twenty volunteers took part in the dig, including young adults participating in their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award along with local “Auks” (Young Archaeologist Club). Also participating in the dig were pupils from Glassary, Kilmartin, Achahoish, Minard and Furnace Primary schools along with pupils from Lochgilphead High School.

You can find out more about this excavation by downloading the site report here.




The rock art panel at Achnabreck was first discovered in January 2008 when storms blew over a group of substantial tree roots revealing the rock panel below. The site lies close to Scotland's largest rock art panel also at Achnabreck. Excavation of the site was undertaken by Kilmartin Museum in May 2008. The aims of this project were to identify the extent of the site and explore the nature and character of any activities associated with the construction and use of the site and recover any material which might be used to date the construction and/or use of the rock art.

You can find out more about this excavation by downloading the site report here.

Balure Dun

The dun structure at Balure in North Knapdale came to light during forest clearance in 2004 and its discovery has shown that there are important monuments still to be found in the Argyll landscape. The discovery of the dun also afforded us the opportunity to examine the site as part of the Dalriada Project that funded two programmes of survey and excavation which has shed important new light on Argyll's Iron Age.

You can find out more about this excavation by downloading the site report here.

Digging the dun with neraset blue bucket lying on hearth

Hut Circle

Balnahard, Colonsay

The archaeological walkover survey of Balnahard farm on the north end of Colansay was undertaken by Kilmartin Museum in November 2011 and February 2012 and formed part of the Scotland's Islands-Island Archaeology Project. The project enabled the local community on Colonsay to engage in a series of archaeological projects including walkover survey and recording along with schools activities and a travelling exhibition. The Balnahard farm walkover survey was intended to thoroughly record any archaeological sites within the survey area. In 2013 Kilmartin Museum along with Queens University Belfast and the University of Ulster returned to the Island as part of Integrating Archaeology & Sustainable Communities, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to undertake a series of exploratory excavations at Bheinn Bheag on Balnahard farm.

You can find out more about this excavation by downloading the site report here.

Excavation at Dun Mhuirich

In 2012 Kilmartin Museum were involved in the Connected Communities Project a collaborative initiative in partnership with University of Ulster, Historic Scotland, Queen's University Belfast, Glasgow University and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, which aims to study cultural connections between Ulster, the Hebrides and Argyll in the Medieval and late Medieval period. As part of this project we undertook preliminary excavation and survey work at the scheduled site of Dun Mhuirich in North Knapdale, Argyll. The site is likely a dun structure dating to the late Iron Age period (c. 2000 years old) but of particular interest were a set of buildings within the dun that were obviously of later, but unknown date.


With the kind permission of the landowners and the Tayvallich Estate, a team led by Kilmartin Museum with students from Queens University Belfast revisited the site with a group of volunteer and young apprentices along with pupils from Lochgilphead High School and Tayvallich Primary school who all participated in the excavation work. This was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Craigend Trust.

You can find out more about this excavation by downloading the site reports for 2012 and 2013.

Morlaggan Structure

High Morlaggan Excavation

In 2009 Kilmartin Museum was invited to run an excavation for the Morlaggan Rural Settlement Group, set up by Fiona Jackson and Sue Furness who wanted to examine a deserted settlement close to Fiona's home near Arrochar. That year and the following spring this community excavation involved hundreds of people who recovered thousands of artefacts relating to the history of the settlement. Further information is available on the Morlaggan Rural Settlement Group website where you can browse the history of the project, the archaeological reports along with some specialist finds reports including the analysis of the thousands of pottery sherds recovered during the work.

You can find out more about this excavation by downloading the site report here.

Kilmory Oib and Arichonan

The settlements of Kilmory Oib and Arichonan are just two of the many deserted settlements that can found in Argyll as in the rest the Highlands. From the 18th century many settlements were abandoned due to changing agricultural regimes adopted by landowners, both Arichonan and Kilmory Oib being no exceptions within this process. In trying to get a better understanding of how and why this happened and the people it involved, a programme of survey and excavation was undertaken at Kilmory Oib in 2008 as part of the Dalriada Project. More recent research at both Kilmory Oib and Arichonan undertaken by the Museum for the Forestry Commission has greatly added to this picture of dramatic landscape change.

You can find out more about our work at these sites by downloading the site report here.

Sheep Fank

The Leaning Stone

Nether Largie Standing Stone

In the autumn of 2012 an outlying stone of the Nether Largie Standing Stone group collapsed. In order to facilitate its re-erection the excavation of the original stone pit was undertaken Kilmartin Museum and funded by the Craigend Trust. The excavation work was facilitated by the owner of the field and the re-erection of the stone was completed by a team from Historic Scotland.

You can find out more about our work at this site by downloading the site report here.



Kilmartin Museum, Kilmartin, Argyll, Scotland, PA31 8RQ : : 01546 510278

Kilmartin House Trust SC 022744 : : Kilmartin House Trading Co. Ltd. SC 166302

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