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Name:Geophysical surveys - Fort William and Inverlochy Archaeological Project
Organisation:Glasgow University (GUARD)
Date:Sept 2007


In August and September 2007, the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology and Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) conducted a programme of archaeological investigation of the remains of the old fort at Fort William, part of the Parade in the town of Fort William and the battlefield of Inverlochy. The fieldwork involved geophysical survey at the fort and the Parade, followed by trial excavation of anomalies (see EHG4723), and the metal detector survey of an area near Inverlochy Castle in search of remains of the battle fought there in 1645 (see EHG4724). The geophysical surveys included both resistivity and magnetometry techniques. The resistivity survey took readingsat 1m intervals along the transects, while the magnetometer took readings every 0.25m. At the Parade site the resistivity survey was hampered by surface features such as tarmac paths and flower beds and sub-surface services also interfered with the magnetometer survey, although good coverage of the area was still achieved through careful placement of the survey grids. The results indicated a good deal of disturbance in the area, with reasonable correspondence between the two survey results. A number of anomalies were recorded and it was considered possible that they may have been related to the remains of buildings, although modern services or a natural origin could not be ruled out. At the fort site the surveys were again interrupted by recent surface features, including pathways, picnic tables and a the plinth and paving for an orthostat. However, good survey coverage was obtained. Here the results of the two survey techniques bore little resemblance to each other. The resistivity results showed a good deal of disturbance and were inconclusive overall. The magnetometry results showed a large circular anomaly measuring roughly 30m in diameter, consisting of three concentric rings. The strength of the feature suggested an industrial origin and through reference with photographs and maps it was clear that the anomaly represented the remains of a railway turntable. This part-Heritage Lottery assisted project was a Highland 2007 initiative supported by Lochaber Community Fund and Highland Council, and included active participation on the part of the local community, including school groups and metal detectorists. <1>

Type(s) of Investigation



Fieldwork report  © GUARD (File size: 23319 KB)
Grid Reference:Centred NN 1042 7417 (105m by 295m)
Map Sheet:NN17SW
Civil Parish:KILMALLIE
Geographical Area:LOCHABER
Location:Fort William & Inverlochy

Associated Finds - none

Sources and further reading

  • Text/Publication/Article: Pollard, T. 2008. The Archaeology of the Siege of Fort William, 1746. Journal of Conflict Archaeology Vol. 4. 189-230. Digital.
  • Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Pollard, T. & Lelong, O.. 2007. Fort William and Inverlochy Archaeological Project (Historic Conflict in the Highlands) Culduthel Mains Farm, Inverness: Phase 5. Excavation of a Later Prehistoric Settlement. Glasgow University (GUARD). 09/01/2008. Paper and Digital.

Related Monuments/Buildings

MHG4196Fort William, Fort and Governor's House (Monument)

Related thematic articles

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