MHG28197 - Possible settlement - Dornoch, Meadows Business Park


No summary available.

Type and Period (6)

  • BUILDING (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)
  • DITCH (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)
  • PIT (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)
  • HEARTH (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)
  • MIDDEN (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH78NE 73 797 895

NH 797 895 A watching brief was commissioned by Highland Council Archaeology Service on a site to S of former bishop's palace (now Bishops Hotel) on S edge of burgh of Dornoch. The watching brief, first archaeological project to have been carried out in town, involved monitoring topsoil stripping and groundworks associated with development of a new business park and was carried out in late May. Cut into buried sand dunes were truncated remains of a substantial post-medieval ditch, possibly of a defensive enclosure, numerous ditches forming enclosures and at least one building, pits and several hearth-like features, together with a large quantity of slag and burnt clay (including a tuyere), all sealed below a deep deposit of medieval cultivation soil.
The watching brief on this site and searches by a local metal detectorist yielded a varied assemblage of medieval and post-medieval artefacts. Finds of medieval date include copper-alloy objects such as a small bell, a lobate stud or boss, a strap end and numerous other fittings. A bone pin beater fragment and several corroded iron artefacts were also recovered. Later material includes a number of buttons, an openwork brooch and several clay pipe fragments. Coins of James IV, James VI, Charles I and Charles II were also found. <1>

Later post excavation work and radiocarbon dating place the main period of activity here in the late 1st millenium AD, The evidence recovered also suggest a long traditon of ironworking here from the early medieval period continuing through the medieval period. <2>

The radiocarbon dates obtained in association with the better understood stratigraphic relationships have allowed a basic sequence to be established. The earliest phase of activity seems to date to the 8th-9th centuries
AD, with the second and main phase of activity in the 10th century possibly extending into the 11th century; there was one isolated feature dating to the 15th century. The settlement and/or industrial activity is possibly Pictish or Norse. <3>

See reports below for detailed site information including radiocarbon dates. <2> <3>

See link below also to Scottish Radiocarbon Database for radiocarbon results.

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 7971 8953 (59m by 22m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH78NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DORNOCH

Finds (19)

  • SLAG (Undated)
  • SHERD (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)
  • BROOCH (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1058 AD? to 1559 AD?)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MOUNT (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • PIN (Undated)
  • STRAP END (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)
  • SHOT (Undated)
  • NAIL (Undated)
  • SOLE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COUNTER (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Early Iron Age to Early Medieval - 550 BC? to 1057 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)
  • PLANT MICRO REMAINS (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DAUB (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD? to 1559 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (3)

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