MHG46382 - Farmstead, Ryefield Burn


A farmstead and enclosures, possibly involved with whisky distilling.

Type and Period (4)

  • (Former Type) HOUSE (Undated)
  • FARMSTEAD (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DISTILLERY? (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NMRS Report: (24/04/2003)
NH55NE 155 5709 5694

NH 5532 5571 to NH 5809 5842 An archaeological desk-based assessment and walkover survey were undertaken for a new water pipeline. The following previously unrecorded archaeological sites were revealed:
NH 5709 5694 Ryefield Burn House.
Full report deposited with Highland SMR and the NMRS
Sponsor: Halcrow Group Ltd.
S Farrell 2002 <1> <2>

A farmstead and enclosures was identified during a survey project by the North of Scotland Archaeological Society. This site is believed to have been involved in whisky production.

The site is situated in rough sloping ground in the middle of a field 500m to the SE of the small village of Alcaig. It has a NW aspect although the main building slopes to the NE. The site comprises the stone footings of a single building on a NE-SW alignment, two terraced enclosures and a possible midden pit.

The building is aligned NE-SW, measures 15m x 6.6m overall and has two compartments. That to the SW/upper end is the main compartment, it measures 6.5m x 4.5m internally and has an entrance 1m in width in the SE wall. The turf covered stone wall footings are 0.6m thick and generally 0.3m height apart from the short SW wall which is 1.4m thick and 0.6m high. The compartment to the NE is at a lower level and measures 5.2m x 4.5m. The NE and SE wall footings only are extant, the NW side is bounded by a steep slope with a 0.6m drop to the terraced enclosure below. The E corner of this compartment has an entrance 2m width with a possible midden pit just 2 metre distant down the slope to the east. This pit is roughly circular, 1m deep and 4.4m diameter.

There are two terraced enclosures to the NW of the building. The one nearest the building is 11m x 6m and enclosed on its NE and NW sides by the remains of a well constructed wall 0.5 to 0.6m high externally and 0.2m internally. This enclosure may continue to the SE but is less well defined and more sloping. The lower enclosure to the NW is more sloping and measures 18m x 9m, it is defined on its NW side by a steepening of the slope, parts of which have a stone edge.

The SW compartment of the building is marked on the 1st Edition OS survey as being roofed and there is just one small enclosure to the NW. The stone wall footings of the building are very well constructed with significant underbuild on the lower side. The north part of the adjacent enclosure with its well constructed stone wall footings and levelled area may originally have been part of a building. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 5709 5693 (47m by 36m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH55NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (2)

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