MHG52954 - Old road surface/pathway(s), Queensgate and Fraser Street, Inverness


A compact clay surface with gravel and cobbles identified at several locations in close proximity to one another. The deposit is interpreted as the remains of one or more roads/pathways, possibly medieval in date.

Type and Period (3)

  • ROAD? (Medieval - 1058 AD? to 1559 AD?)
  • LAYER (Medieval - 1058 AD? to 1559 AD?)
  • (Alternate Type) GARDEN PATH? (18th Century to 19th Century - 1701 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A compact clay surface with rounded gravel and cobbles embedded within it was uncovered at four locations along Queensgate and Fraser Street during water pipe laying works. The deposit is described under Features 2, 4, 8 and 9 in the watching brief report.
Feature 2 was seen to comprise two layers: an upper layer of small orange-brown gravel with some shell fragments, overlying a compact silty clay over large cobbles. Only a 2 metre portion was examined at this location, but the feature appeared to extend west and eastwards.
Feature 4, a midden scatter, overlay an earlier road/path surface comprising a compact yellow-gray clay with rounded gravel and cobbles embedded within it.
Feature 8 was a compacted surface of dark orange sand, gravel, stone and small cobbles, possibly metalled. This area was very disturbed with redundant utility pipes to the east.
Feature 9 was a compact clay surface lying above the natural yellow gravelly sand. This deposit was revealed following the removal of a layer of dressed, granite cobbles that made up the pre-tarmac road surface.

Due to the proximity and similarity of these deposits, the archaeologists suggest that they are contemporary and could conceivably have been part of a single road or path. A tentative medieval date is suggested due to the presence of a fragment of medieval pottery in Feature 1 (see MHG52953), a rubbish pit which cuts the deposit at Feature 2. It is equally possible, however, that the deposit(s) to the east of Church Street represent garden pathways behind the 18th/19th-century houses. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 66578 45394 (72m by 47m) (5 map features)
Map sheet NH64NE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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