MHG42936 - Industrial areas, Portmahomack


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Excavations of the precinct around Tarbat revealed remains of specialist industrial working area to SW of the church - believed to be making gold items, possible glass artefacts (mock jewels for mounts), vellum making. Iron scale was found over large extents of the excavated area and one building located between the two southern enclosure ditches ws particularly associated with this. All features pre-date probable destruction of the site in the C10? <1>

A large area to the south of Tarbat Ness Road has been assessed by Historic Scotland as of national importance and worthy of scheduling. This comprises the buried remains of a large early historic, Pictish monastic settlement, in use from the 6th to 8th centuries AD and later re-occupied. <2>

A large area to the SSW of Tarbat West Church has now been Scheduled by Historic Scotland. Archaeological excavations demonstrate that the foundations of buildings survive within the settlement and aerial photographs show the cropmark of a D-shaped boundary ditch surrounding the settlement and enclsoing the present Tarbat West Church. <3>

An assessment of this site as a parchmenarie was published as an article in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol. 134 by excavators, Martin Carver and Cecily Spall, in 2004. This is because a number of associated features and artefacts in the workshops at this site can be related to the preservation and finishing of hides, and it is argued in this article that this included the preparation of parchment for the production of manuscripts. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NH 9144 8395 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH98SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish TARBAT

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