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.
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
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
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.