Link to printer-friendly page

Record details

External Ref:CDF05
Name:Excavation - Culduthel Phase 5, Inverness
Organisation:Headland Archaeology Ltd
Date:Jun 05-Feb 06


An archaeological excavation on the site of a housing development at Culduthel Mains Farm, Inverness was carried out by Headland Archaeology Ltd between June 2005 and February 2006, as part of the planning consent for the construction of Phase 5 of a housing development. The site covers an area of approximately 4.84 ha, and occupied undulating ground on the 65m contour. The excavation was commissioned following an evaluation in May 2005 (see EHG3764) that had located an enclosure, visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs, and identified two other areas of archaeological potential (designated Areas A, B and C). The three identified areas were stipped under archaeological supervision and the identified features subsequently excavated. During the excavation it was apparent the archaeological remains continued outside these areas. Alba Archaeology were commissioned to conduct a watching brief during the stripping of the remainder of the area which uncovered the remaining archaeology. Areas which contained complex deposits were excavated by Headland Archaeology, with Alba dealing with simple structures or remains. All structures were fully excavated. Discrete features were half-sectioned or fully excavated for retrieval of environmental evidence or artefacts. A minimum of 10% of all linear features was excavated.

The excavation revealed multi-period use of the site from the prehistoric through to the ?2nd century AD. The more important element of the site was the Iron Age occupation. The slightly oval enclosure located first in the evaluation measured 52m by 41m with a southwest-facing entrance. The enclosure had one phase, and while the interior contained a number of truncated pits and postholes no obvious buildings, other than a four-post structure, could be identified. The main settlement activity was to the north-west and northeast of the enclosure. There was good evidence for 17 roundhouses, craft and industrial production, including metal-working (relating to the production of iron and copper alloys), and perhaps trade links with parts of Scotland further afield. A total of 9 iron-smelting furnaces were found in this area, with the last firing in situ. All but one were in a roundhouse. The range of buildings and their good preservation was considered unusual. <1>

Type(s) of Investigation



Fieldwork Report  © Headland Archaeology Ltd (File size: 6667 KB)
Grid Reference:Centred NH 6638 4137 (358m by 243m)
Map Sheet:NH64SE
Geographical Area:INVERNESS

Associated Finds - none

Sources and further reading

  • Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Murray, R.. 2007. Culduthel Mains Farm, Inverness: Phase 5: Excavation of a Later Prehistoric Settlement. Headland Archaeology Ltd. 21/12/2007. Digital.

Related Monuments/Buildings

MHG56033Cairns - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56046Cobbled surface - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56047Four-post structures - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56031Hearths - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG49950Iron Age occupation and metalworking - Culduthel Farm, Inverness (Monument)
MHG32413Palisaded enclosure - Oldtown of Leys, Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56030Pits and hearths - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56032Possible Bronze Age occupation - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56023Prehistoric pits - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56028Prehistoric pits - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56027Robbed cairn - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)
MHG56026Undated structures - Culduthel, Inverness (Monument)

Related thematic articles

Conservation Areas
Listed Buildings
Scheduled Ancient Monuments
Designed Landscapes
Registered Battlefields
Marine Protected Areas