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.
Map / DG8 7EA .
Area Click On Map . 10 Large Images .
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
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
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
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.