Drumfad Cup & Ring Marked Rock
A cup and ring marked rock dating from the Neolithic / Bronze Age (c. 3,000 BC), is on the hills above Helensburgh.
Cup and ring marked rocks are often found on the edge of uplands with panoramic views, but there are very few of these rocks in this part of Argyll. This one is on the hills above Helensburgh and to get to it, head to the Hill House and then follow the Three Lochs Way path west, waymarked at the top of the car park. After about 15 minutes the Three Lochs Way turns off towards Glen Fruin, keep straight on following the signs to Rhu. Follow the path for another 10 minutes or so, and when it opens onto moorland you will find the rock, and an interpretive panel, on your left hand side.
The carvings on the rock are believed to have been made around 5,000 years ago. Although they are now faint, the map on the interpretive panel will show you where to look.
On the east side of the rock the there is a graffiti of the date 1732. This is the year in which William Boutcher surveyed the Barony of Maligs for Sir John Schaw of Greenock and laid out a designed landscape. It has been suggested that the date was carved by Boutcher during his survey.
The rock has been scanned as part of Scotland’s Rock Art Project to create a 3D model
Other amazing ancient sites nearby
There are a number of ancient sites in the area, e.g. the Iron Age fort at Carman, and other cup and ring marked rocks. However, to see a wide range of sites which are clearly visible and have information for visitors, we recommend taking a road trip from Helensburgh further west into Argyll.
Only 1 hr 45 mins from Helensburgh by road, near Lochgilphead, is the site of Achnabreck, with one of the best sites for rock art in Scotland with numerous carvings visible. Nearby is Dunadd, the ancient fortress of the kingdom of Dal Riata, and a short drive further on is Kilmartin Glen, with standing stones, a henge monument, numerous cists, and five burial cairns. All of these are well worth a visit and make a great day trip from Helensburgh. You can continue on and drive up the side of Loch Awe, then back to Loch Lomondside via Crianlarich to make it a round trip – remember to check conditions at Rest and Be Thankful before you go!