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Name:Excavation - Brora Back Beach, Clyne, Sutherland (2011 season)
Organisation:Clyne Heritage Society
Date:July-Aug 2011


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. This season aimed to complete the excavation and recording of the 16th/17th century building known as the 'Old Salt House' in Trench 9 with the intention of recovering further evidence of the building. A 12m x 10m trench (Trench 9) was opened up by machine over the western side of the visibly eroding building. A mechanical excavator fitted with a 2m wide toothless bucket was used to open up Trench 9 and remove the majority of the clean sand overburden. A significant 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 (Plate 4). Deposits and features were identified in plan and excavated as single contexts wherever possible. Stratigraphic control was maintained by sections at the limits of excavation supplemented by temporary sections. The eastern half of the building was fully excavated, deposits on the south (beach) side of the building had already been largely destroyed prior to the excavation. The primary discoveries included a moulded stone window sill, fragemnts of window glass, a carved stone fireplace and chimney, graffiti including mason marks and possible apotropaic marks, thousands of fish bones, whale bone, iron objects and locally produced pottery, never previously found in this area from this period. <1>

Type(s) of Investigation



Fieldwork report  © Clyne Heritage Society (File size: 14348 KB)
Grid Reference:Centred NC 9047 0330 (23m by 18m)
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. 2012. Brora Back Beach, Sutherland: Data Structure Report: August 2012. Clyne Heritage Society. Digital.

Related Monuments/Buildings - none

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