20. Cairnpapple Hill in Bathgate Hills

Situated in the Bathgate Hills, this is one of the most important pre-historic sites on the Scottish mainland. Site also offers one of the best viewpoints in Central Scotland.

20 Cairnpapple Hill in Bathgate Hills

Cairnpapple Hill is one of the best known and most important pre-historic sites on the mainland of Scotland. It consists of both ceremonial and burial monuments. Human activity on Cairnpapple dates back 5,500 years to the Neolithic period. During the Bronze Age, the site was used as a burial site and burials were placed under cairns, in shallow graves and in unlined pits. The site builders used the local rock types: basalt and quartz-dolerite. The quartz-dolerite occurs in local intrusions, and is a variety of dolerite that contains small amounts of quartz. Narrow, east-west ridges demonstrate the existence of dyke intrusions of quartz-dolerite locally. Cairnpapple Hill offers one of the best viewpoints in central Scotland and on a clear day views stretch from Arran in the west, to the Bass Rock in the east. The site is designated a Scheduled Monument and looked after by Historic Environment Scotland, which collects a small fee for entrance to the chamber. 

Cairnpapple Hill is located to the north of Bathgate within the Bathgate Hills. Nearby sites are Hilderston Silver Mine Quarry and Hilderston Silver Mine (28, 29), the Knock (38), Witch Craig Wall (39) and Torphichen Hill (46).