MHG35262 - Roundhouse (Phases 3 and 4), Bellfield Farm, North Kessock


The cropmark of a ring ditch which, upon excavation, proved to overlie the remains of two successive Iron Age roundhouses.

Type and Period (2)

  • (Former Type) RING DITCH (Undated)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Created automatically by NMRS Register Utility
User: Admin, Date: Wed 13 Oct 2004
NH64NW 82 6441 4854

The cropmark of a ring-ditch has been revealed by oblique aerial photographs (RCAHMSAP 1995), in the SE corner of a field, immediately to the N of Charleston Village. It has an internal diameter of about 12m. An enclosure is located about 200m to the W (NH64NW 80).
Information from RCAHMS (KJ) 11 June 1999.

Excavations over the site of this cropmark took place in 2008-9. The circular cropmark was found to overlie a substantial roundhouse and associated features of Iron Age date. The roundhouse was of two phases and built on top of earlier, probable Bronze Age, pits (see MHG53531). The earlier phase of the roundhouse was c.8m in diameter and made up of 15 postholes, with two additional postholes forming a possible porch on the southern side.
The earlier structure appears to have burnt down and was then replaced with a larger house, c.13m in diameter, with a substantial porch and a rear wall. The structure shows similarities to the larger roundhouses of Culduthel Phase 5 and extrapolation of the line of the northern outer wall suggests a possible internal diameter of c.19m.
Daub fragments were recovered from the latter structure, which comprised large postholes containing substantial in situ stone packing. Environmental evidence suggested the post timbers were of oak and that reeds or turf may have been used in the walls or roof. This second roundhouse also appeared to have burnt down. Rough stone paving and a fragmentary cobbled surface were laid over its remains and were associated with a number of stakeholes, suggesting continued use as a working area. This phase may be associated with a group of features to the east of the roundhouse, thought to be associated with metalworking (see MHG53532).
The structures occupied a generally flat area with a slope running down to the north and the shores of the Beauly Firth and it is likely that the rest of the associated settlement lies on the flatter ground to the north. A large midden spread associated with the occupation spread downslope. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 64376 48548 (21m by 19m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH64NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish KNOCKBAIN

Finds (4)

  • DAUB (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • ROTARY QUERN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • PLANT MACRO REMAINS (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC to 560 AD)
  • BEAM (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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