Scheduled Monument

Tinkers' Heart, Scottish Travellers' commemorative monument 820m E of ArdnoSM13615

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
30/07/2015
Last Date Amended
21/10/2015
Supplementary Information Updated
07/09/2016
Type
Secular: memorial cairn
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
Parish
Lochgoilhead And Kilmorich
NGR
NN 15753 8437
Coordinates
215753, 708437

Legal Description

The Tinkers' Heart is a heart-shaped setting of quartz stones, which is embedded in tarmac in a former road junction now lying within a field. The Heart measures 1.75m by 1.40m, the top being aligned towards the NW. In 2015, it was defined by 25 quartz pebbles around the perimeter, with a 26th stone in the centre. Oral tradition links the site with stories of Scottish Travellers who died in the Jacobite uprising of 1745, though it appears the quartz stones were first laid out much later, potentially during the early 20th century. The Tinkers' Heart lies where the road leading NW from Lochgoilhead met the main route along the S shore of Loch Fyne; the modern road junction now lies about 60m to the E. The site lies 109m above sea level and has fine views to the W and SW over Loch Fyne towards Inveraray.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 20m in diameter and centred on the middle of the Heart, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction and use is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of the metal fence enclosing the stone setting.

Description

The Tinkers' Heart is a heart-shaped setting of quartz stones, which is embedded in tarmac in a former road junction now lying within a field. The Heart measures 1.75m by 1.40m, the top being aligned towards the NW. In 2015, it was defined by 25 quartz pebbles around the perimeter, with a 26th stone in the centre. Oral tradition links the site with stories of Scottish Travellers who died in the Jacobite uprising of 1745, though it appears the quartz stones were first laid out much later, potentially during the early 20th century. The Tinkers' Heart lies where the road leading NW from Lochgoilhead met the main route along the S shore of Loch Fyne; the modern road junction now lies about 60m to the E. The site lies 109m above sea level and has fine views to the W and SW over Loch Fyne towards Inveraray.

Up until 1928, the site may have been marked by a heart-shaped piece of grass in the road. When the road was resurfaced in 1928, it appears the heart shape was restored using quartz stones. Documentary evidence shows that the local authority restored the Heart in 1928 following road works. The road was in use from 1928 until 1967 and works to maintain the Heart during road repairs have been important in the site's development. A photograph taken in the 1950s suggests that there were formerly many more pebbles around the edge of the Heart, illustrating the evolution of the monument. In 1967, a new section of road was built to the east and, thereafter, the original junction, containing the site, was no longer in use as a public road. Since 1967, the site in this disused section of road has been sited within the fields of Ardno Estate. The Heart has been the location for weddings and other ceremonies over many generations: the location was first documented as the venue for a wedding in 1872. The Tinkers' Heart serves as a tangible symbol of the deep relationship between Scottish Travellers and this location at a significant route junction, and has clearly held high spiritual meaning for many Scottish Travellers through the generations.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 20m in diameter and centred on the middle of the Heart, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction and use is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of the metal fence enclosing the stone setting.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular the mobile lifestyle, traditions and material cultural heritage of Scottish Travellers. The site is a rare example of a permanent physical monument for Gypsy/Travellers and appears to be unique in its conception. The loss of such a unique monument would affect our ability to appreciate the contribution of the heritage of Gypsy/Travellers to Scotland. The site holds an important place in the consciousness of Gypsy/Travellers, recognised as a distinct ethnic group in Scotland.

 

References

Bibliography

Other Information

RCAHMS records the site using Site Number NN10NE 18. The West of Scotland Archaeology Service SMR reference is WoSAS Pin 66676.

References

Historic Scotland s Heritage Management Directorate, Scheduling Recommendation; Report of Handling , June 2015

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/th-scheduling-recommendation.pdf

Historic Scotland s Heritage Management Directorate, Tinkers Heart, Consultation Analysis Report , June 2015

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/th-consultation-analysis-report.pdf

Historic Scotland s Heritage Management Directorate, Tinkers Heart, Desk-based and Field Research Report , June 2015

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/tinkers-heart-desk-based-field-research-report.pdf

National Museums of Scotland, Scottish Life Archive SLAC 13570, 1950s photograph of the Tinkers Heart

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

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Printed: 13/11/2019 09:32