MHG12049 - Bog Butter & Trough, Cnoc Leathann


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • FINDSPOT (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A rectangular wooden trough of bog butter was found 1969 by Martin Mackay, Sarsgrim, Durness, when cutting peats. The trough and butter have been donated to NMAS (Acc No: SHC 9). While date is quite uncertain, it could be early as a similar trough has come from Loch Glashan crannog (NR99SW 1).
Info contained in letters (with 6" plan) from J Close-Brooks, NMAS.

Carved oak rectangular trough with rim handles, held in the National Museum of Scotland under accession number NMS SHC 9 dated by radiocarbon to 1110 +/- 80 ad (OxA-3010).
C Earwood 1993.

In 1969 a trough was found in moorland on E side of Kyle of Durness, and at an altitude of about 70m OD. After recovery (in a fragmentary and waterlogged condition) it was re-assembled and consolidated with acetone-rosin. It is stored at Royal Museum of Scotland under accession number NMS SHC 9. It was found to contain an irregular pitted lump of bog butter (NMS SHC 10) which measures 340mm in length and has been dated by radiocarbon to 1110 ? 80 ad (OxA-3010), which determination may be calibrated to about 1212 cal AD.
The trough has been worked from a near-complete section of an oak log and now measures 730mm in length over 2 prominent flat lugs which are cut straight across the ends. The end walls measure up to about 36mm in thickness and the enclosed cavity is about 480mm long; the object measures up to about 285mm in breadth externally and 186mm internally. The exterior is rounded and the cavity is square-cut at the corners although the sides bow out slightly. The internal depth is about 111mm and the contained volume about six litres.
The vessel generally displays a high standard of workmanship, both interior and exterior surfaces being smooth. Among scratchmarks within the interior there are the marks of what has probably been a metal chisel about 20mm broad. The exterior surface was not accessible at date of inspection.
RMS accession register: typescript continuation catalogue; J Close-Brooks 198; R E M Hedges, R A Housley, C R Bronk and G J van Klinken 1992; C Earwood 1993; R J C Mowat 1996, visited November 1994.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NC 3870 6384 (4m by 4m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC36SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

Finds (1)

  • BOG BUTTER (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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