MHG51718 - Prehistoric occupation remains at Castle Stuart


Archaeological investigations in advance of development identified evidence for Bronze Age occupation, mostly comprising a number of pits containing Bronze Age pottery and flint fragments. A large wattle-lined storage pit was also identified.

Type and Period (4)

  • PIT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • (Former Type) ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC)? (Late Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 1250 BC to 560 AD)
  • STORAGE PIT (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC to 560 AD)
  • COOKING PIT? (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A watching brief carried out by CFA Archaeology in May 2007 identified a number of pits, one of which contained Bronze Age pottery sherds and fragments of burnt bone. Outside the main area of excavation the archaeologists noted a number of possible pits defining two putative roundhouses with a possible occupation layer containing burnt wood and ash, a linear gully with associated post holes and further features. <1><2>

Further excavations were carried out later in 2007 by Highland Archaeology Services Ltd. Most of the features which were left unexcavated during the earlier work were found to have a natural origin. However, 13 pits were found to contain Bronze Age pottery and/or flint. The majority of these features were recorded at the north-western end of the site. Four fire pits were identified containing fire-cracked stones, but no dating evidence was recovered.

The most interesting feature excavated was a large circular pit measuring 3.55m x 3.50m with sloping sides and a flat base at a maximum depth of 1.40m. The base was encircled by a series of stake-holes driven through a hard "foor" surface. The original pit was partly truncated by a later extension. It is interpreted as a wattle-lined pit, used either for storage or possibly for curing meat or fish. The findings were consistent with the results of other investigations on the gravels in the Inverness area, with surviving pockets of Bronze Age or Iron Age occupation that have been substantially disturbed by later land use. <2>

The excavation assemblage (1 pot sherd and 4 flints) was submitted to Treasure Trove (TT 158/13) and allocated to Inverness Museum. <3>

The pot sherd is listed in the Inverness Museum catalogue under Acc. No. 2014.031.008. <4>

An enamelled Iron Age ring found in the same field may have come from this site (see MHG60612). <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 74064 50084 (150m by 130m) (3 map features)
Map sheet NH75SW
Civil Parish PETTY
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (2)

  • SHERD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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