WoSAS Pin: 66102

Site Name: Carn Droma

Alternative Name(s): Carn Druim; Carn Drom

Monument Type: Cairn

Council: National Park

Parish: Killin

Map Sheet: NN33SW

Grid Reference: 232100, 731200 NGR from Dunshea report

Canmore Number:

Non-Statutory Register Code:

Site Report

WoSAS Pin 66102
NN 3210 3120

A cairn has been identified in forestry plantation around 200 yards north of the A85, at a point around 600m west of the junction with the A82. This may represent Carn Droma, mentioned in a number of sources as being located on the watershed between Argyll and Breadalbane. It lies on an old dry stone wall which must once have marked the county line, and indeed falls close to the modern boundary between Argyll and Stirling.

The 'druim' being referred to in Carn Druim is 'Druim Alban' - (Latin Dorsum Britanniae), the 'Spine of Britain' - which is mentioned in a lot of medieval texts. Druim Alban has been interpreted in various ways but in a medieval context it makes most sense in it's early 'back' or 'spine' meaning, i.e. not as a particular mountain ridge but as a watershed which had to be crossed to get from one side of the country to the other. Druim Alban marked the division between Dal Riata and the Picts in the early medieval period and later on the Argyll-Breadalbane boundary. One 8th century author talks about going beyond 'Drum Alban' to get to Pictland - he was based on Iona, so going to Pictland might easily have taken him via Lorne, the Pass of Brander and Tyndrum. The cairn does not look as old as that, but it is referred to in some later medieval texts.

On the Blaeu Atlas, a feature annotated as 'Carn Druim' is shown on the western boundary of Breadalbane. 'Carn Droma' is also mentioned on Cameron's 'Map of Breadalbane' of the 1780s (where it is positioned opposite the lead mines, exactly where the cairn is now) and in a book on Breadalbane from the early 20th century. The cairn has excellent views to the east and west and before the trees it must have been widely visible.
Information from Dunshea, P., 05/05/11
Entered WoSAS (MO'H) 06/05/2011

Further Reading and Sources