MHG53307 - Possible fish traps, Loch Shiel, Claish Moss, Ardnamurchan


One or more possible circular fish traps. The first of these has been investigated and proved to be natural.

Type and Period (2)

  • (Former Type) FISH TRAP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • NON ANTIQUITY (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NM76NW 25 70721 68731
Possible fish trap identified by Andrew Wallis, August 2009, see associated reports.
Information from RCAHMS (AGCH) 16 November 2009. <1>

The site was identified from aerial photography available on Google Earth and consists of a pale ring averaging 29 metres in diameter surrounded by a darker circular belt about 15 metres wide. <2>

The site was surveyed in December 2009 at which time a few large stones were seen in the central area. A number of circular hollows in the same area are identified as possible post holes. They measure around 0.3m in diameter and are about 0.1m deep. Three clusters were apparent during the survey. It is thought that the site is probably a circular fish trap, although the report expresses doubt over the suitability of its location.
A second site has also been identified, appearing on the aerial photographs as a dark semi-circle of around 20 metres diameter, but has not been investigated further. <3>

Further information concerning the fishtrap received in September 2010. Alex Hale (RCAHMS) and Richard Tipping (Stirling University) think that the site may be natural. The peat layer may be an accumulation of peat over a hollow in sand. Richard Tipping suggested it might be a dune slack that has been eroded down and later covered by more sand. There still, therefore, must remain doubt over its interpretation, although further fieldwork is required. <4>

Andrew Wallis advises that he was able to excavated several sections of this feature in August 2010. It is almost certainly natural. The raised circle of sand overlies a layer of peat about 0.1m thick dipping towards the centre of the circle. The peat close to the surface increased sediment fertility allowing more plan growth above it. This in turn increased the entrapment of sand to create the circle visible from Google Earth. <5>

Note that the second site mentioned in <2> has yet to be investigated but is likely to be of a similar nature. <6>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NM 70726 68708 (33m by 33m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM76NW
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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