EHG704 - Watching brief - Novar Windfarm access tracks and compound

Technique(s)

EXCAVATION, TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY, WATCHING BRIEF

Organisation

Wordsworth Archaeological Services

Date

Sept 96-Mar 97

Description

A watching brief was maintained by J Wordsworth in 1996-97 during works associated with the construction of new access tracks for the Novar Windfarm development. It was part of the consent for this work that a survey of the area adjacent to two farmsteads that was threatened by the road line should be surveyed and that a watching brief should be carried out during the topsoil strip. A watching brief was carried out on the stretch of new road linking the forestry road with the existing track running north-east from Tighnacraig although it was limited to the area north of the previously identified disturbed area around the Cnocan farmstead. No structures were disturbed and no archaeological features other than a series of field dykes were recorded. The ruined buildings of the two farmsteads were visited, photographed and described. The relatively recent burial of a small pony was uncovered during the extraction of material for road metalling from an area northeast of Cnocan. The topsoil strip to the east of the Allt Bad na Glaic and northwest of the existing track was also observed. The road was substantially altered here involving a strip of some 300m long across heather moorland, but no archaeological features were observed. A substantial, previously unknown, prehistoric settlement consisting of three roundhouses and an area of clearance cairns was also recorded on the lower slopes of Cnoc a'Leacachan. The soils within the truncated roundhouse 3 were cleared of overburden and a single feature was excavated in a section across the interior. A small area was also excavated to the north of the roundhouse. An additonal site visit took place during the topsoil stripping of an area intended for a site compound located near the start of the new road to the turbines. An area of c. 45m² was observed. The overlying peat was removed by bulldozer which made observations difficult but no significant deposits were observed. A topsoil strip for the first 100m of the new road line, sited just to the east of the prehistoric settlement was also observed but, again, no archaeological features were seen. A further area was examined in March 1997 when a new borrow pit was opened on the side of Torr a'Mhulcan. No archaeological features were observed. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)

Map

Location

Location Novar Estate
Grid reference Centred NH 5720 7004 (2664m by 5477m)
Map sheet NH57SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish ALNESS

Related Monuments/Buildings (7)

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