MHG53096 - Building - Loch Borralie West


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • BUILDING (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Structure eroding out of base of sandblow (now stabilising with thin turf cover), represented by one course of stone footings set into sand, describing a subrectangular, bow-sided building. Walls are formed of 2 skins of subangular boulders with fill of smaller rubble. As exposed, structure measures 12.8 m E/W x 3.5 m wide internally, overlain at E end by structure 87 and at W by 90. S wall is better defined but both bow clearly visible on both sides. Entrance into S wall is 0.9 m wide, with length of wall 0.6 m wide projecting for 2.4 m, curving SSE/NNW to form sheltered, elaborated approach or porch. Burrowing is evident within and around structure. Where burrows are beside walls, a lower course is visible.

Within large fenced deflated area E of plantation. Overlooks Loch Borralie to E.
Remains of a building pre-dating structures 87 and 88, as structure 89 runs directly beneath W end of structure 87, which appears to be contemporary with 88. Form of building might suggest a Late Norse date (cf site 46). Although turf is beginning to colonise the sand over and around this structure, extensive burrowing is taking place in and around it.
Recommendations: Rescue excavation to establish date and character of structure before further destruction by burrowing and deflation. Rabbit control measures are also required. <1> <2>

The feature (Site 89) was one of two subject to more detailed investigation by Glasgow University and Assumption College, Massachusetts, in 2004 in the first season of what was intended to be the 5-year 'Strathnaver Province Viking-Medieval Archaeology Project'. A limited geophysical survey involving both magnetometry and resistivity was undertaken and this was followed by open-area excavation. The latter established that it had a complex structural sequence: its walls had been thickened, and the structure overlay earlier midden deposits that in turn sealed earlier walling. Sherds of what may have been late first millennium AD pottery were found associated with the earlier walling. The form of the later structure would suggest a Norse or late Norse date for it. Further excavation of site 89 is required to fully clarify its character and sequence and to rescue information from deposits before their archaeological integrity is destroyed by burrowing. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference NC 3807 6746 (point)
Map sheet NC36NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (4)

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