MHG25003 - Kinakyle


The site of a former farmstead or township, which is referred to as Easter Lynwilg in some 17th-century records. In 2008, four buildings survived as visible earthworks.

Type and Period (2)

  • TOWNSHIP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) FARMSTEAD (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Four or more structures which might represent the settlement of ?Lynevulig shown in an etching of 1792.
Information from Ann Wakeling, 8/12/99

Site photographed by A Wakeling, 04/1995. The Highland Archaeology Challenge.
J Aitken : 26/01/04

Roy's military survey of the 1750s shows a number of small townships and associated cornlands scattered along the slightly higher ground west of the flood plain of Spey. This includes an unnamed township at the location of Kinakyle. The whole area of ground bounded by the loop of the Spey is shown as under rig cultivation while woodland is indicated immediately upstream. Thomson's map of the 1820s shows Kean na Coille just over the boundary into Elginshire.
At the beginning of the 19th century new woodland planting was underway, and as early as 1794 one Charles Palmer was renting a house at Kennakyle for sporting purposes.
The 1841 census records two households at Kinakyle, and the same in 1851 occupied by an annuitant and a pauper/agricultural labourer. By 1861 there was only one resident, a lieutenant's widow. The old township was probably abandoned before the construction of the railway in 1862, but new houses on the road were occupied by 1896.
Low, eroded and possibly robbed footings of at least four buildings occupy the open, level ground between the wooded slope and the railway embankment, probably corresponding to the township of Kinakyle. Further description of these buildings can be found in the report on the October 2007 walkover survey. <1>

A plane table survey was carried out in February 2008. The area of the former township covers 100m NE-SW by 40m NW-SE. The area has previously been heavily grazed and there is significant rabbit damage evident across the site although most of the disturbance is outside the visible structures. There is evidence for quarrying, probably connected with the construction of the railway embankment. The core of the railway embankment is likely to contain robbed stones from the township as well as material excavated from the cut containing the access track. It is probably for this reason that the site was not recorded by the Ordnance Survey in 1874. During the 1990s the site was modified for use as a bike racing circuit, however was mostly within the trees and does not affect the surviving structures.
The four buildings are described in related monument records. The size and individual features of the buildings are suggestive of a farmstead rather than a township, but other buildings may have been lost during the 19th century. Nine other features were identified during the survey comprising remnants of boundary banks, field clearance, quarrying and trackways (features (e) to (m) in survey report). <2>

Five evaluation trenches were excavated in April 2008. They targeted Structures A, B and D. The south-west by north-east orientation of three of the four buildings evaluated at Kinakyle would seem to support the theory that the site was constructed at this location to avoid the worst excesses of the prevailing wind from the north-west.
The results of excavations are described in the attached records for monuments. The artefactual assemblage recovered from all five trenches provides a broadly consistent date and suggests that Kinakyle was still occupied during the first half of the nineteenth century. This is primarily based upon the ceramic assemblage, which is rich in cream wares, but also includes sponge-decorated wares dating from the 1830s to 1840s. Examination of the glass assemblage tells a similar story, with at least one two-piece moulded bottle (c post-1860) present along with early nineteenth century examples. Although the artefacts clearly date the final occupation of the site, evidence from a wide range of recent projects on Loch Tayside, the Western Isles and elsewhere in Badenoch all suggest that mass produced goods (e.g. pottery vessels, glass bottles etc) did not become available in any numbers until the 1780s at the earliest and more generally after 1800. In consequence the material culture recovered does not assist in dating the earliest phases of occupation at this site. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 89133 10985 (143m by 121m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH81SE
Civil Parish ALVIE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Investigations/Events (3)

External Links (0)

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