MHG54244 - Corn drying kilns, Area 6, Lochloy


Two corns drying kilns, and associated pit, together with other pits and some post holes were recorded during archaeological evaluation.

Type and Period (3)

  • PIT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC) + Sci.Date
  • POST HOLE (Undated)
  • CORN DRYING KILN (Early Medieval - 561 AD? to 1057 AD?)

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 group of features were revealed within Area 6: Two figure-8 corn-drying kilns, with an associated pit, twenty other pits and four post holes. Only one single find, a piece of flint, was made in this area, which could have been produced at any time between the later part of the Late Neolithic period and the Early Iron Age period. The pits were possibly prehistoric.
The pits were randomly spaced across the area of excavation, some were truncated by ploughing. They varied in size from 0.7m-1.7m and 0.13m-0.56m in depth. One was probably associated with a posthole, whilst another was truncated by animal burrowing. Radiocarbon dating of one of these pits produced an Bronze Age date range of 1610-1520 BC (calibrated to 1 sigma).
The postholes were dispersed across the area of excavation and none appeared to have any structural relationship. They varied in size from 270mm-480mm across the axes, and from 110mm-150mm deep.
The two kilns were 2m in length, 0.8m wide and 0.3m deep, and 1.8m in length, 0.78m wide and 0.16m deep respectively. The possibly associated pit was 1.58m by 1.3m by 0.29m deep. Unfortunately only a very small mount of charcoal was available from within which was insufficient for laboratory dating, but due to the similarities of size and shape to that found in Area 3 they may possibly be early medieval or earlier in date. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 9011 5698 (27m by 32m) (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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