MHG54825 - Farmstead, enclosure/improved land, working area/possible Industrial complex, building and still bothy - Allt Dubh, Scatwell


Farmstead, enclosure/improved land, working area/possible Industrial complex, building and still bothy - Allt Dubh, Scatwell

Type and Period (4)

  • FARMSTEAD (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • DISTILLING SITE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • KILN (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

This farmstead (119) at NH 4050 5513 was recorded by NOSAS in 2007 as part of the Scotland's Rural Past Project. With improved land, it is on a north facing slope and is bounded on the north by the Allt Dubh itself, on the west by a small ravine, and on the east by the wasted remains of a wall/linear clearance which crosses a small stream and continues up the slope to meet a more substantial wall coming down from site 122. The area is open with scattered birch and vigorous bracken. At its south/upper part there are considerable heaps of ?clearance material which form the north boundary of the working area, site 122. There are several large clearance cairns within the area. Two main features were identified:

118A Building - NH 40502 55131 - Rectangular and on a SW-NE axis this measures 7m x 4m internally. The dry stone walls are 1m thick and to 0.5m height. The corners are squared and there is an entrance in the SE wall. (Note; this feature is incorrectly labelled 118a in the report)

119B Enclosure - a horse shoe shaped enclosure, roughly 25m in diameter, defined by largish boulders. This farmstead may be associated with the complex area of disturbance to the SW described as a working area/possible industrial complex 122 and the probable still bothy

Also a working area/possible Industrial complex, building and Still bothy (122, 161 and 162) centred on NH 4050 5512. This site, in natural birch woodland, is on a small NE facing spur of ground between a small ravine to the NW and a linear marsh to the SE. 122 comprises a sloping scooped area roughly 15m x 20m within which there are several features. A few metres to the west there are the remains of a building, site 162 and site 161 is a probable still bothy at a lower level close to the stream.

122 Working area/ possible Industrial complex - Centred on NH 40482 55133 an area measuring roughly 20m x 15m on a NE facing slope. The site is defined by, on its SW (upper) side a curving earth “cut” c.0.5m in height and c.12m in length, and on its northeast (lower) side, by a curving bank of stone ?clearance 22m in length, quite substantial and up to 3m in thickness. This wall is broken in its northmost half by a gap of 6m in which there is the termination of a stone wall/probable field boundary at right angles (see sketch). To the northwest there is a steep bank/ravine and stream, and to the southeast a marshy area with a small stream running through it. The site has a cover of heather, bracken and light birch trees. The features are:

122A - A possible building/possible kiln which appears to be the centre of activity. It is roughly 3.5m square, oval internally and open to the north where there is an entrance of 1m width. The internal area is 2.5m x 1.3m. On the NW side of the feature there is a substantial stone wall 1.4m in thickness and 0.5m in height, on the SE side a stone and earth bank rises to 0.4m height.

122B - A possible building to the SW of A. It is defined by two roughly parallel stone settings of single stone thickness (c. 0.4m) 3.5m in length. They are 3.5m apart.

122C - A pit or depression to the SE of A. It is U shaped, open to the NE, roughly 4m in width and 8m in length with “central”/internal area of 2.5m x 3.5m and 0.8m depth.

122D - A building constructed within the east part of the boundary wall (see sketch). It is rectangular, on a N-S axis and has internal measurements of 2m x 3m.

161 Building/probable Still bothy (Fig 6) - NH 40441 55114 40m to the SW of site 122 and in the bottom of the ravine on the east bank of the stream and just 1.2m from it, this rectangular building is aligned NNE-SSW. It measures 3.25m x 2.6m internally. Dry stone walls, double faced on 3 sides are c0.7m thick and 1m in height. The entrance is 0.9m in width and in the NW corner. The back retaining wall is single faced with the head forming a scarcement. Small rough outshot to SW c1.3m wide has no obvious entrance. This building is in an excellent state of preservation.

162 Building - NH 40462 55127. Just 4m to the west of site 122 on the edge of the small ravine, this small structure is on a NNE-SSW
axis and measures 3.8m x 1.9m internally. The remains of the walls are of rough stone and turf construction, up to 0.5m in height and 0.8m in width. The corners are rounded apart from the SW corner which is squared internally and which has a knoll 0.8m in
height externally. There is an entrance in the east wall Some metres to the south of 122, on a shallow north facing slope there is a pit on a small linear knoll in natural birch woodland which may be associated. It is 2m in diameter and 0.5m deep.

Site 122 appears to have been the centre of some activity or process on a semi industrial scale. In view of the surrounding landscape it may well have been associated with the production of whisky. Site 161 is almost certainly a still bothy. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 4048 5515 (156m by 215m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH45NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish CONTIN

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.