MHG17487 - Ironworking site, Rosskeen Burn


A small iron smelting furnace with fragments of slag and iron ore.

Type and Period (1)


Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH66NE 44 6911 6945

NH 69112 69451 A small iron smelting furnace was found here with fragments of slag and iron, during archaeological supervision of the topsoil strip for the Dingwall - Invergrodon British Gas pipeline. Sponsor: British Gas
J Wordsworth 1993 <1>

A small iron smelting furnace (site 14) was found with fragments of slag and iron ore. The feature was not well‐preserved being set in soft sand and disturbed fragments of the shell midden. There was also evidence for plough and animal disturbance.
The central bowl or furnace bottom was no more than 300mm in diameter by 200mm deep. There was a flue/tap hole to the SE 0.2m wide by 0.5m long. This was rich in iron ore. It was surrounded by the decayed remains of clay & stone walling 0.25m thick.
The narrow bowl shows this is likely to have been a shaft furnace. The relatively small amount of slag may suggest that the hearth was used for roasting the metal ore rather than forming part of a smelting hearth. However the intense fire-reddening around the furnace suggests otherwise and it may only be result of lack of oxidation and heat to fuse material at the base of the hearth.<2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 6910 6945 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH66NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish ROSSKEEN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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