MHG54240 - Hearths - Area 2, Lochloy, Nairn


Two hearths recorded during trial trenching at Lochloy, Nairn.

Type and Period (2)

  • HEARTH (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2401 BC?)
  • PIT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC) + Sci.Date

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.

Two features were recorded in Area 2, which were interpreted as a hearth and a pit. The hearth was oval in plan, almost a shallow scoop with moderate sides and flat base, measuring 52cm by 63cm by 18cm deep. The second feature was an oval pit with flecks of charcoal round the base. The cut of this feature can be decribed as a shallow scoop with moderate sides and round base, measuring 78cmm by 73cm by 20cm. Given the distance between the two features it is unknown if they are contemporary, but given the similarity of their fills it is a possibility. The oval pit was radiocarbon dated, which produced a Neolithic date range of 2890-2700 BC calibrated to 1 sigma. Both of the two radiocarbon dated features in Areas 1 (See MHG54239) and 2 are roughly contemporary in date. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 9027 5691 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
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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