Two vegetation strips measuring 12m by 1m and 10m by 1m, were excavated by CFA in 2013 across the remains of Cromwell’s Fort (Scheduled Monument no. 953), within the site boundary of the Inverness Oil Terminal. The fort survives as two lengths of rampart and a bastion, which exist as turf covered and rabbit infested earthen banks. The strips extended from the inner edge of the bastion up to the fence which formed the limit of GB Oils ownership. The trial strips were intended to identify the most suitable surface on which a layer of impermeable bentonite clay matting could be overlain without causing unnecessary disturbance to the monument itself. Strip 1 was sprayed with a proprietary weed killer suitable for the vegetation present and the vegetation was removed by hand to a depth of c.0.05m. The surface was lightly trowelled but no features other than rabbit burrows were identified. Strip 2 was de-turfed by hand using hand tools to a depth of c. 0.1-0.15m. This removed turf and some topsoil matrix to reveal a small area of gravel in the northern part of the strip and gravelly/stoney topsoil material on the embankment slope. These deposits may represent the remains of in situ bastion material, or at least eroded and disturbed material. Several finds of probably C19-20 century date were recovered from the turf/topsoil layer. No other features, deposits or artefacts of archaeological significance were recorded during the archaeological works. <1>
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