MHG455 - Township, Bourblaige


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Type and Period (1)

  • TOWNSHIP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NM56SW 2 centred on 546 623

The township of Buarblaig (Bourblaige: NM 546 623) was cleared in 1828 by Sir James Milles Riddell.
A MacKenzie 1946 <1>

Site not visited.
Information from OS (N K B) 15 June 1970

Bourblaige Township, Ardnamurchan: This township is situated on the SE slopes of Ben Hiant at a height of between 100m and 150m OD. The site measures about 5.7 ha (14 acres) in extent, and comprises a tract of gently sloping ground bordering the confluence of a number of minor tributaries of an unnamed burn which flows SE to enter the mouth of Loch Sunart about 1km W of Camas nan Geall.
The buildings, some three dozen in number, lie scattered in small groups, taking advantage of such areas of comparatively dry ground as may be found. Within these groups a number of buildings can tentatively be identified as dwelling-houses, and others as barns and byres, while the adjacent enclosures, which in many cases show traces of lazy-beds, were presumably kail-yards. Nearly all the surviving buildings are of dry-stone construction, their walls remaining to a height of between 1m and 2m; most are oblong on plan with rounded corners. The largest buildings measure up to 12m by 6m. The patches of arable ground round the township show extensive traces of rig-cultivation.
Bourblaige formed part of the Ardnamurchan estates of the Riddell family, and the township is depicted on an estate-map of 1806. By 1829, however, the township had been combined with the neighbouring property of Tornamoany to form one large grazing-farm held by a single tenant. It seems likely, therefore, that the majority of buildings visible today were abandoned shortly before this date.
RCAHMS 1980, visited 1972 <2|>

Cruck-slots noted.
G Stell 1981 <3>

The settlement was probably cleared in 1828 by the landowner Sir James Riddell to make way for a sheep farm. Donaldson (p417-8) equates this with the site of the Battle of Muirbulg fought in 731 between the Picts and the Dalriadic Scots. This remains unproven. This has been a desk assessment area.
J Wordsworth, SSSIs, Scottish Natural Heritage, 1993

Twenty-eight unroofed buildings, one of which is L-shaped, two enclosures, one of which has four compartments, a field-system and a head-dyke is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Argyllshire 1875, sheet xxv). Twenty-eight unroofed buildings, the field-system and the head-dyke are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1974).
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 6 May 1998

Probable horizontal mill at NM 546 622. RCAHMS, info passed on by G Clark, Treslaig (ref 33).
AMF, Highland Council, 09/03/01

Thumbnail photo shows township of Bourblaige in hollow with buildings on ledge and rig and furrow in foreground. Site photographed by J Kirby, 2002. The Highland Archaeology Challenge.
J Aitken : 26/01/04

Selected areas of the township were subject to geophysical survey in April 2009. Visible features such as overgrown walling and rig and furrow were well represented in the survey results. A number of anomalies were identified that could possibly relate to an earlier phase of settlement but further work is required. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NM 5469 6225 (193m by 185m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NM56SW
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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