MHG54956 - Possible early roadway, Tarradale to Tain
It is suggested that an early roadway linked the whole length of the Earldom of Ross, extending approximately 50 kilometres from south to north. The monument is thought to be characterised by stretches of wide, straight trackway flanked by parallel turf embankments.
Type and Period (1)
- ROAD (Early Iron Age to Early Medieval - 550 BC? to 1057 AD?)
- None recorded
A series of double embanked features are believed to indicate a possible network of relict routeways in Easter Ross. It is believed that these may form an early communication route through the entire length of the Earldom of Ross.
The defining characteristic is the relative straightness of the main thoroughfare at the centre of the network. Changes in direction occur fairly frequently but inbetween these changes the road generally takes a direct route from point to point. Most of the road, where it is identifiable, is delineated by parallel turf embankments, of no more than one metre in height, on either side of a levelled surface of between five and eleven meters in width. There is no discernible camber.
The possible roadway is being investigated by Allan MacKenzie and Cait McCullagh of the North of Scotland Archaeological Society. <1>
This record has been created to represent the entire projected route. Details are held in the related records for the individual route fragments. <2>
The old coach road was investigated as part of an archaeological community training excavation, part of the ARCH 'Pathways to the Past' project, carried out by ARCH in 2011 and again in 2012 at Foulis estate. In season one, trench 2 was opened to explore the existence of the old field boundary that was thought to preserve the route of the old road that ran through the area. There was no evidence of road make-up, potentially caused by intensive ploughing in the area, seriously degrading the deposits. <3>
In season two, the results of a geophysical survey aided in further work locating the old coach road. Trench 4 was opened in an area with a strong positive anomaly. Given the depth of the ploughsoil previously identified in trench 2, the topsoil of trench 4 was removed with the help of a JCB. An east-west sondage measuring c 0.7m in width (north-south) was excavated and sampled. A second smaller sondage running east-west through the southern part of the eastern ditch was also excavated. A single, very compact gravel surface road was uncovered, believed to have been relatively shot-lived. However, the presence of a second ditch implies that it was in use for a long enough amount of time that repairs were required. Pottery found in this trench, along with the discovery of a flat disc button, suggested an C18th/19th date. <4> <5>
- <1> SHG25356 Text/Manuscript: McCullagh, C and MacKenzie, A. 2010. North of Scotland Archaeological Society: Road through Ross Project. Yes. Digital.
- <2> SHG23297 Verbal Communication: Tilbury, S. Comment by Sylvina Tilbury, HER Officer.
- <3> SHG26309 Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: MacIver, C and McCullagh, C. 2011. Foulis Estate, Excavation and Survey of Foulis Mound and a possible routeway: Data Structure Report. Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH). Digital.
- <4> SHG26310 Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Brown, L, McKeggie, L and McKeggie, L. 2012. Foulis Estate: Excavation of Foulis Mound and a possible routeway: Data structure report 2012. Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH). Digital.
- <5> SHG26311 Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Poller, T. 2012. Foulis Geophysical Survey May 2012: Geophysical data and Interpretation Report. University of Glasgow. Digital.
|Grid reference||Centred NH 6465 6603 (26697m by 32782m)|
|Geographical Area||ROSS AND CROMARTY|
|Civil Parish||KILMUIR EASTER|
|Civil Parish||LOGIE EASTER|
|Civil Parish||URQUHART AND LOGIE WESTER|
Related Monuments/Buildings (17)
- Parent of: Corpse Road, Foddety (Monument) (MHG45128)
- Parent of: King's Causeway (Monument) (MHG33351)
- Parent of: Old road or track, Blairdhu/Kilearnan to Balvaird/Davids Fort/Logiebride (Monument) (MHG29941)
- Parent of: Possible fragment of early roadway, Brenachie (Monument) (MHG55581)
- Parent of: Possible fragment of early roadway, Foulis Castle (Monument) (MHG55578)
- Parent of: Possible fragment of early roadway, Kincraig House (Monument) (MHG55580)
- Parent of: Possible fragment of early roadway, Meikle Ussie (Monument) (MHG55383)
- Parent of: Possible fragment of early roadway, Skiach (Monument) (MHG55579)
- Parent of: Possible fragment of early roadway, Tallysow Wood (Monument) (MHG55382)
- Parent of: Possible fragment of early roadway, Tulloch Mains (Monument) (MHG55577)
- Related to: Channels, Ford of Conon (Monument) (MHG55061)
- Related to: Circular feature, Dunglass Island (Monument) (MHG55062)
- Related to: Earthwork, Tallysow Wood, Brahan (Monument) (MHG55064)
- Related to: Ford of Conon (north bank) (Monument) (MHG55060)
- Related to: King's Causeway (Monument) (MHG8723)
- Related to: Rectangular earthwork, west of Ford of Conon (Monument) (MHG55063)
- Related to: Rectangular platform, Tallysow Wood, Brahan (Monument) (MHG55065)
Related Investigations/Events (5)
- Excavation - Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (2011 season) (Ref:FM11) (EHG4152)
- Excavation - Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (2012 season) (Ref:FM12) (EHG4155)
- Geophysical survey - Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (EHG4156)
- Metal detecting survey - Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (EHG4154)
- Topographic survey - Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (Ref:FM11) (EHG4153)
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