St Mary’s Primary School activity session at Haylie chambered cairn with Archaeology Scotland

A visit by the P6 class from St. Mary’s Primary School, Largs, to the remains of Haylie Neolithic chambered cairn near Douglas Park, has helped to further inspire their Learning for Sustainability project, facilitated the extension of the class’ outdoor learning curriculum, and contributed to supporting the future conservation of this nationally important, and legally protected monument.

Led by staff from Archaeology Scotland (AS), who are supporting a project at the site under one of their flagship schemes, Adopt-a-Monument, which aims to help local communities engage with and conserve their local heritage, the class spent the morning exploring the remains of the chambered cairn, learning all about the site, the different types of conservation issues it is currently at risk from, and what we could do about these. After lunch, with facilities generously provided by Douglas Park Bowling Club, the class gathered in a circle to handle two Neolithic stone hand axes, very kindly loaned to us for the afternoon by Largs Museum. Both artefacts were found in Largs, one found approximately 50m from Haylie – a real tangible and special moment for everyone!

Follow-up activities based around Haylie are planned, all of which will contribute to the class receiving their Heritage Hero Awards: a wider achievement award designed and managed by Archaeology Scotland for history, heritage, and archaeology projects.

The day was enjoyed by all, and some children have already taken their families to the cairn, with a much greater interest in it as a result of the deeper knowledge they now have.

Our huge thanks to St. Mary’s Primary P6 class, and their teachers, to DYW for facilitating communication with the school, to Jennifer Strachan the AS Adopt Student Placement for her work in developing the session, to Richard Topping and Largs Museum, and finally, to Douglas Park Bowling Club.