MHG24520 - Township, Badentarbat


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • TOWNSHIP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC01SW 24.01 0100 1000

The remains of the core of the pre-crofting township of Badentarbat consist of twelve buildings, several enclosures, possible storage pits, extensive areas of lazy-bed cultivation and some possible plough-rig all contained within a system of dykes, probably of several phases, which enclose the lower part of the broad valley of the Allt an Fhealing.
The extant buildings are concentrated along the head-dyke at the W edge of the settlement. However, the surveys of May (1758; SRO, RHP85395) and Morrison (1775; SRO, E746/189) indicate that the settlement focus, at least in the third quarter of the 18th century, was on the E side of the valley, in the area around the later farmstead at NC 0124 1043 (NC01SW 24.05), the present Badentarbat House (NC 0132 1013) and the improved grazings to the SE of the house. There is very little visible evidence for such settlement apart from the fragmentary remains of some small enclosures, an angle of grassed-over walling at NC 0121 1017 which may be the remains of a building, and the possible remains of structures beneath two huts against the head-dyke (described under NC01SW 24.05).
The buildings can be divided into two groups. The four smaller buildings are single-compartment structures, perhaps best regarded as outhouses. They measure internally between 4.1m and 5.8m in length and between 2.6m and 3.2m in breadth with walls generally 0.6m thick and up to 0.5m high (with the exception of one building, (ACHIL94 409), which has ruined gable-ends up to 1.5m high). Three buildings stand against the head-dyke (ACHIL94 404, NC 0081 0984; ACHIL94 406, NC 0083 0990 and ACHIL94 409, NC 0091 1010), and it seems that at least one of these (ACHIL94 406) predates the dyke which turns slightly to meet its SW corner. The fourth outbuilding (ACHIL94 405) stands 15m beyond the dyke at NC 0080 0988.
The eight larger buildings are likely to have been dwellings. Generally speaking they are well spaced along the W edge of township. Three buildings stand against the head-dyke (ACHIL94 408, NC 0090 1008; ACHIL94 410, NC 0091 1013 and ACHIL94 415, NC 0095 1032) but the relationship between building and dyke is unclear except in the case of building 410, against which the dyke has been built. In two instances (ACHIL94 400, NC 0078 0970 and ACHIL94 402, NC 0083 0981) the dyke has been incorporated into an enclosure attached to a building, suggesting that the dyke predates those buildings.
These eight buildings range in length from 7.5m to 14.1m and in breadth from 2.9m to 3.6m within walls built of faced rubble with square corners, 0.6m to 0.7m thick and up to 0.9m high. They are divided into two or (in three cases) three compartments and in all but two examples the building appears to have been entered through the smaller compartment. At least one building (ACHIL94 401, NC 0082 0970) and possibly another (ACHIL94 408) has a byre drain in the smaller compartment, running out through the entrance. Three buildings (ACHIL94 402, 408, 415) have an outshot at one end and all but two have a small yard or enclosure attached to one side (the exceptions being ACHIL94 403 at NC 0087 0981 and ACHIL94 415). In addition, outside two buildings (ACHIL94 410 and ACHIL94 412, NC 0095 1022) there are low mounds, probably middens.
In all, about 35ha of ground are enclosed by turf and stone dykes. There are clearly several phases of enclosure involved, particularly at the N end of the township where there seem to have been several episodes of expansion and infilling. Other banks within the main head-dyke hint at a subdivision of the township, perhaps relating to the reorganisation of the 1820's. Most of the enclosed ground appears to have been given over to lazy-bed cultivation, except parts of the moorland on the W side, where there is much deep peat, and at the S end, between the lochan and the shore, where the shape and profile of the ridging is suggestive of plough cultivation. The lazy-beds are best preserved at the N end, where the wide gaps between relatively narrow beds have been scraped down to the subsoil. Although most of the enclosed ground has been cultivated, there is evidence for other land use within the head-dyke. On the W side of the township, for example, at NC 0091 0989, several rectangular blocks of peat extraction have cut through lazy-beds, and it may be that a D-shaped enclosure on the E side of the burn at the N end (centred NC 0119 0155), which contains well-preserved lazy-beds, was originally constructed as a stock enclosure, as the enclosing dyke has a vertical stone face on the inside, suggesting that inclosure, not exclosure, was the original aim.
Scattered amongst the lazy-beds there are several small free-standing enclosures, the largest measuring about 20m by 18m, and also at least
six small circular or oval pits. The pits measure between 1.2m and 2.5m within banks up to 1.2m thick, which in most cases have an inner facing of stone. Most of them are set into sloping ground, and stand up to 1m high on their downslope sides. One (ACHIL94 411) has a level platform immediately to the N. These may be corn-drying kilns, but none appear to have barns attached to them and there are no visible flues (although
they are all overgrown). Another possible interpretation is that they
are potato storage pits; certainly the slopes on which they are built appear to be well-drained. These pits are located at NC 0102 0996 (ACHIL94 411), NC 0101 1030 (ACHIL94 413), NC 0114 1035 (ACHIL94 420),
NC 0101 1020 (ACHIL94 421), NC 0106 1010 (ACHIL94 422) and NC 0129 0972 (ACHIL94 424).
The 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Cromartyshire 1881, sheet iiia) shows several buildings (ACHIL94 400, 402, 408,412, 415) all unroofed, most of the head-dyke and several other small enclosures.
(ACHIL94 400-413, 415, 420-2, 424)
Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) May and August 1994

There appears to be a considerable degree of overlap between this record and MHG26613, as well as all the subsidiary records in this area. The entire set of records needs a considerable amount of work once the required primary source information can be obtained. <1>

A photograph showing a general view of the township, taken from the farm track, was forwarded to the HER in November 2010. <2>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 0100 1000 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC01SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish LOCHBROOM

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