MHG29192 - Moated site - Achnasoul Wood


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Type and Period (1)

  • MOATED SITE (Medieval - 1058 AD? to 1559 AD?)

Protected Status

Full Description

A well preserved motte site, in woodland by the River Orrin. Woodland is fairly open, although it appears to be of some age. Visited by DML 4 years ago. DML 17/7/00

Notified to Allan Rutherford, Historic Scotland as a Scheduling candidate, 17/7/00

The North of Scotland Archaeological Society undertook a survey of a previously unrecorded ringed earthwork in Achnasoul Wood, near Marybank in 2005. The site comprised a ditch and two concentric earth banks, with a raised central area. It is most likely a motte and bailey, although a henge has also been suggested. The site is located in a mature coniferous plantation on a linear terrace of undulating morainic deposits. The wood appears to be a firmly-established plantation and is depicted on the OS 1st edition map of 1870. The earthwork is sub-circular and has an overall diameter of between 58 and 61m. The encircling ditch and earth banks are broken in the northwest and southeast by causeways which give access to the central area. The raised central area or motte is located in the northern part of the enclosed area. It appeared to be an enhanced natural knoll, roughly 25m in diameter at its base. The summit of the knoll is encircled by an incomplete earth bank, enclosing an area 11m in diameter. A possible 1m wide entrance to this area was noted to the southeast. The surrounding ditch, with external and internal earth banks, may have been excavated in recent times to give better drainage to the area. The ditch in the southern section is waterlogged for most of the year. The ditch is generally between 4 and 5m wide and 1.5m deep, with the two causeways being 5m in width. The outer earth bank is complete and varies in height, up to a maximum of 2m. To the north it merges with the natural upslope. The inner bank is less complete, with the southern section surviving best. Other features within the site include a small area dug out to form a structure, a 10m diameter enclosure within the central area and the remains of a small sub-rectangular building, 5m x 3m. <1>

The site was Scheduled by Historic Environment Scotland in 2017. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 4880 5182 (60m by 60m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH45SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish URRAY

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Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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