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Name:Excavation - Brora Back Beach, Clyne, Sutherland (2010 season)
Organisation:Clyne Heritage Society
Date:July-Aug 2010


An archaeological excavation was carried out in August 2010 as part of an ongoing interdisciplinary project of fieldwork by Clyne Heritage Society, Shorewatch, SCAPE Trust and community volunteers to investigate and record the eroding remains of sites facing imminent destruction at Brora Back beach, Clyne. A 12m x 8m trench (Trench 9) was opened up by machine over the site of the visibly eroding building. In addition, an approximately 30m long, narrow strip of the dune face extending westwards from the main trench was opened up by hand. The purpose of the extension was to ascertain the full length of the eroding building in Trench 9, which extended beyond the area of excavation into the dune to the west; to further investigate industrial midden deposits occasionally exposed in the coast edge here; and to investigate the relationship between these, the building in Trench 9 and the remains of the substantial building formerly visible on the beach. A small 2m x 5m trench (Trench 8) was opened up by machine 10m east of the building fully excavated in 2008 and 2009 in Trench 4. The purpose of the trench was to identify any surviving remains and so confirm the location of the easternmost of the pair of buildings depicted by Kirk on his 1772 map of the 18th century salt works. In addition, an approximate 3m x 3m trench was opened by hand over the western central hearth structure of the building previously excavated in Trench 4. The purpose of this small trench was to fully excavate this complex structure in order to achieve a better understanding of its function and phasing. A mechanical excavator fitted with a 2m wide toothless bucket was used to open up Trenches 9 and 8 and remove the majority of the clean sand overburden. In the vicinity of Trench 9, a considerable amount of landscaping was carried out to ensure safe working conditions and to achieve a stable and accessible coast edge after the excavation was complete. Following machining, the trenches were cleaned by hand and a multi-context plan of visible deposits drawn. <1>

Note: Whilst trench 9 is described in the text as being 12x8m in length, the site plan does not reflect this. The GIS data is based on the site plan so may be incorrect [MH 01/05/2014].

Type(s) of Investigation



Fieldwork report  © Clyne Heritage Society (File size: 6481 KB)
Grid Reference:Centred NC 9041 0328 (146m by 50m)
Map Sheet:NC90SW
Civil Parish:CLYNE
Geographical Area:SUTHERLAND
Location:Brora, Clyne, Sutherland

Associated Finds - none

Sources and further reading

  • Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Hambly, J. 2011. Brora Back Beach, Sutherland: Data Structure Report: August 2010. Clyne Heritage Society. Digital.

Related Monuments/Buildings - none

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