MHG54245 - Hearth and pits - Area 7, Lochloy, Nairn


A hearth and two pits, possibly prehistoric in date, were recorded during archaeological evaluation.

Type and Period (2)

  • PIT (Undated)
  • HEARTH (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.

Three features were recorded during archaeological evaluation and excavation in Area 7: A hearth cut into the natural bank and 2 small pits. No finds were recovered from this area, but the pits were suggested as possibly prehistoric.
The hearth was comprised of black-grey sandy-silt, heavy with charcoal and fragments of wood, with rounded and angular unburnt stones, including fragments of sandstone. It lay in a circular cut, with steep sides and a rounded base. It was cut into a natural ridge, possibly to give it more protection from the wind. It measured 85cm in diameter and was 20cm deep. Radiocarbon dating of the fill produced a date range of 3520-3370 BC (calibrated to 1 sigma), dating it to the Neolithic. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 9007 5703 (10m by 8m) (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)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.