MHG25178 - Torbreck Burn


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • TOWNSHIP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CORN DRYING KILN (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Area: NC 703 061. An extensive area of depopulation comprising the ruins of about fifteen buildings, three corn-drying kilns and eight enclosures, two of which are attached to buildings. The buildings vary in size from 4.8m by 3.5m to 21.5m by 3.5m, the larger having internal divisions, and are extant from grass-covered footings, 0.3m high, to walling 1.5m high. The hill slopes are extensively cultivated with lazy beds, and the area is limited by a grass-covered bank on the N, W and S sides and Torbreck Burn which forms the eastern boundary.
This settlement was depopulated at the same time as Grudie (NC70NW 3), ie. 1822 (Information from Mr A Murray, 397 Druimanairgeidh, Rogat). Visited by OS (R B) 24 February 1966.

This deserted crofting settlement is generally as described by the previous field investigator.
Kiln and buildings surveyed at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (J M) 19 May 1981.

This township is composed of four loose clusters of buildings and enclosures disposed across two ridges on either side of an unnamed burn to the W of the Torbreck Burn. The largest group is situated on the ridge on the W bank of the Torbreck Burn and comprises the footings of fifteen buildings; the three other groupings of structures each contain between two and six buildings.

NC 702 062 Fifteen buildings, four enclosures and a kiln
(ROG95 342-4, 347-50, 386-90)
NC 704 060 At least six buildings, five enclosures and a hut
(ROG95 391-7)
NC 701 060 Five buildings, an enclosure and a kiln (ROG95 588, 591-5)
NC 769 060 Two buildings, a hut, a kiln and an enclosure (ROG95 596-9)

The remains of the buildings comprise faced-rubble wall-footings or stony banks, which measure up to 1.2m in thickness, but more usually about 0.8m thick, and stand up to 1m in height. Except for one structure (ROG95 591), which may have been reused as a fold after the clearance of the township, the entrances, where visible, are in a side wall. Two of the buildings (ROG95 387, 593) have opposed entrances, of which one (ROG95 593) is situated next to a kiln and may have been a threshing barn. Byre-drains are visible in four buildings (ROG95 347, 395, 584, 599) and suggest that they may have been byre-houses. Bedneuks open out of the interior of three buildings (ROG95 347, 349, 395). Evidence of phasing
in construction is visible in three of the buildings (ROG95 347, 349, 395).
The rectangular buildings fall into three broad size ranges. There are nine large buildings (ROG95 347-8, 381-2, 395, 593-4, 598-9), measuring between 10.8m by 3.2m (ROG95 593) and 20.6m by 2.8m (ROG95 347), four of which (ROG95 381, 394, 594, 598) are divided into either three or four compartments. A further twenty-three buildings (ROG95 342-4, 349, 378, 383-4, 386-92, 394, 396-7, 588, 591, 595) range between 4.5m by 3m (ROG95 378) and 9.5m by 2.4m (ROG95 349) internally with no subdivisions. Two smaller structures, which may have been huts, measure 4m by 2.5m (ROG95 393) and 3.8m by 2.4m (ROG95 597) internally.
There are three corn-drying kilns (ROG95 350, 592, 596) within the township, disposed between the loose clusters of structures. The bowls measure between 1.5m and 2m in diameter and all have a barn (into which the flue opens) of remarkably similar proportions, measuring internally between 4.2m and 4.4m in length and between 2.7m and 3m in breadth. One of the kilns (ROG95 592) is situated close to a rectangular building (ROG95 593) which may have been a threshing barn.
An earth-and-stone head-dyke encloses an area of 0.5sqkm to the W of the Torbreck Burn, including the lower reaches of an unnamed tributary of the Torbreck Burn. The head-dyke continues across to the W side of the burn forming at least two, possibly successive enclosures (see NC 70NW 60). What may be a fragment of an earlier line of the head-dyke is visible along the N side of the enclosure, to the W of the Torbreck Burn.
There are two distinct areas of ridged ground within the head-dyke. A relatively sheltered saddle to the W of the Torbreck Burn (ROG95 1002, NC 702 063) is covered by faint furrows about 5m apart which are bounded on the E by a low bank. The ground on both sides of the unnamed burn which bisects the township bears faint traces of ridging, in three interconnected patches, roughly corresponding with the depiction of improved ground on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Sutherland 1879, sheet xcvi). The majority of this ridging measures about 6m between furrows and has been slighted by later ploughing. At the S end of the central block of rig (ROG95 1003, NC 702 059) there is a block of high-backed ridges measuring about 8m between furrows.
Interspersed amongst the ridging there are a number of terraces or lynchets; although they lie along the same axis as the ridging, they may indicate the presence of an earlier field-system.
The 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Sutherland 1879, sheet xcvi) depicts three buildings (ROG95 591, 597, 598) as unroofed, together with at least four of the enclosures and most of the head-dyke. Roy (Roy 1747-55) depicts a settlement on the NE bank of the burn under the name of Torbrake Moriness.
(ROG95 342-4, 347-50, 378, 381-4, 386-97, 588, 591-9, 1002-3)
Visited by RCAHMS (DCC) 5 July 1995

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NC 7032 0612 (100m by 100m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC70NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ROGART

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