This rocky crag was first fortified around 2,400 years ago and in the 6th century AD become the citadel of the Kings of Dál Riata, the first Kings of Scotland. This was the home of the Scotti, the people who gave Scotland its name.
Dunadd became a major political centre, making contacts and alliances with other major kingdoms of the day. It was also a centre of trade and imported many goods such as dyes from France, exotic spices and wines. Shallow drafted ships negotiated the River Add, connecting the Kings of Dál Riata with the rest of Europe.
At Kilmartin Museum you can view artefacts found at Dunadd including clay moulds that were used to make silver brooches.
Climb to the top and put your foot into the stone footprint where the first Kings of Scotland were inaugurated. See if you can also find a boar, basin and Ogham script carved into the rock at the summit.
The Glebe Cairn is the most northerly in the Linear Cemetery and closest to Kilmartin Museum.
One of two cists found here contained an incomplete jet necklace and one of the finest pottery vessels of its time in Scotland – an Irish style Food Vessel. The second cist also held a similar, highly decorated Food Vessel.
Both vessels can be seen on display in the Museum and are on loan from the National Museum of Scotland and the British Museum.
The group of carvings at this site are the largest found in Europe. The name is Gaelic, and it might mean ‘speckled’. The most common motif on the surfaces is the cup and ring mark. From the site there are extensive views which might have been one reason this place was chosen for such elaborate carvings.
Stones circles are generally accepted to be places of ceremony. A timber circle was originally erected here around 3,000BC followed soon after by the erection of a stone circle. Later, around 2,300 to 2,000BC, the focus of the site turned to burial and two cist graves with small cairns were constructed.
Dunchraigiag Cairn is a prehistoric burial cairn on a raised terrace that looks out over the surrounding area. The site had been used for burials over a number of years. Cremated human bone, flint chippings and a decorated food vessel were found in a stone lined cist within the cairn.
The Castle was built between 1565 and 1572. The Castle was build for John Carswell who later became Bishop of the Isles. There is a fine view of Kilmartin Glen from the ramparts.