MHG54239 - Hearth/corn-drying kiln - Area 1, Lochloy, Nairn


A single hearth, or possibly a form of corn-drying kiln, was recorded during trial trenching at Lochloy, Nairn.

Type and Period (2)

  • HEARTH (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC) + Sci.Date
  • (Alternate Type) CORN DRYING KILN? (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Stuart Farrell was commissioned by Kylauren Homes Ltd in late October 2006 to undertake a programme of archaeological trial trenching and any required excavation on the site of a proposed housing development to the east of Nairn. This work formed phases 6 to 9 of the Lochloy development, Balmakeith, Nairn.
A desktop survey had recognised one archaeological site to be recorded in the proposed area of development, the cropmark of an enclosure visible in aerial photographs. However, geophysical survey conducted in 2000 failed to locate this. Trial trenching conducted in late October – late November 2006 was negative for any remains of the enclosure but revealed a number of archaeological features, including kilns, hearths, pits, postholes, and other features.
These findings in turn led to seven areas of excavation being conducted. Radiocarbon dating revealed a multi-period site with Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and early medieval features: at least one Early Neolithic timber structure, two groups of pits of Bronze Age date, three hearths of Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age dates, and four kilns, two of which were of the early medieval period.
Due to heavy ploughing over the site, most of the features revealed were very shallow, consequently few finds were made limiting sources for dating, although it remains possible that the area in question has seen only sporadic periods of use.

A single feature was recorded in Area 1 during the trial trenching and subsequent excavation. It was interpreted as a hearth or possibly a form of corn-drying kiln. It was sub- circular with angled sides and a rounded base with signs of in-situ burning. It measured 96cm by 90cm by 23cm deep. There were no other features found around it. Radiocarbon dating provided a date range of 2890-2690 BC (calibrated to 1 sigma) for it, placing it in the Neolithic. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference NH 9018 5704 (point)
Map sheet NH95NW
Civil Parish NAIRN
Geographical Area NAIRN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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