Swordle Bay


Swordle Bay

Swordle Bay on the north coast of the Ardnamurchan peninsula has been the subject of a long running archaeological research programme carried out by the Ardnamurchan Transitions Team, which has focused on the excavation of key archaeological sites in the area. Sites excavated so far include a Neolithic chambered cairn (Cladh Aindreis), a Bronze Age kerbed cairn, a Bronze Age ring ditch, an Iron Age site Dun (Dun Mhurchaidh) and the site of a Viking boat burial.

The Neolithic chambered cairn (Cladh Aindreis) dates from around 6000 years. The Clyde-type chambered cairn is situated on the east bank of Allt Sordail, 0.5km north of Swordle. The cairn is aligned in NW and SE direction and consists of a divided chamber approximately 3 metres x 0.8 wide. The cairn would have originally been covered with a mound of stones, few of which now remain. Cladh Aindreis is thought to have been used on multiple occasions over a 1000 year time period. Close by there is a Bronze Age kerb cairn, a circular structure about 7 metres in diameter with a single entrance and stone-lined burial chamber. The cist would have been originally covered over with stones and the entrance blocked.

However, Swordle Bay is probably best known for the discovery of a Viking boat burial, which was identified from a low lying mound by the shore. When excavated, the mound was found to contain the remains of a small boat in which a warrior and some of his key possessions were laid to rest in the 10th Century.