Neolithic to the Iron Age
Many thousands of years ago, small groups of people began to settle in the Colintraive area. They stayed for a while in one place, cleared it of trees and grew crops but when the soil became tired out, they moved on to a fresh site and the cycle began again.
About 4,000 years ago people began to create homes here. The first signs of these people were found in the nearby Clachan (or village) of Glendaruel with the discovery in the 1960s of a large stone cairn and the sites of several round wooden houses.
They left their mark on the landscape. In the field in front of the hotel lies a grass covered cairn. It is a metre high and 12 to 13 metres broad. Several stones with cup shaped markings can be found on the rocky outcrops above the farm at Ardentraive. Ancient stone coffins were discovered and excavated close to South Hall farm.
Eilean Buidhe Fort
About 3,000 years ago a fort was built on Eilean Buidhe – the Yellow Island. It lies -to the north of the ferry crossing. The fort is 20 to 25 metres across, with 4 metre thick stone walls. The stones vitrified and became glassy when the wood used in the construction caught fire.