MHG57778 - Midden site - Clachan Church (Applecross old Church)


A open air midden site radiocarbon dated to the late medieval- early post-medieval period.

Type and Period (1)

  • MIDDEN (Medieval to 17th Century - 1415 AD to 1631 AD) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The following sites were recorded between October 1999 and May 2000 as part of the Scotland's First Settlers Project (DES 1999, 49-50):
NG 7120 4571 Applecross Manse Lithic scatter. (see MHG37293)
NG 7137 4576 Clachan church Open midden. *
Notes: + = containing visible midden.
* = test-pitted sites.
> = sites considered inappropriate for test pitting.
A full report has been lodged with the NMRS.
K Hardy and C Wickham-Jones 2000

The Clachan Church open midden was investigated by the excavation of a single test pit. However, the NGR supplied (NG 7137 4576) is some 50m to the south-southwest of the actual location (judging by the photograph of the site in the online final publication. NGR moved to the new location 25/04/2018.

This open air midden was investigated by the Scotland's First Settlers Project in 2000. It was in an area of recently felled conifer trees just south of the church. There was considerable ground disturbance from felling and several patches of shells were visible. The church site has early Christian origins and the midden may relate to that.
One test pit was excavated, aligned north-west—south-east, some 12m from the southern graveyard wall. It
contained six clear contexts which were surprisingly undisturbed below the surface. One piece of debitage of chalcedonic silica was found, a single pottery sherd of sandy fabric and a small fragment of similar pottery, two sherds of olive-green glass (one rim) and a clear modern sherd, and limpet, periwinkle and cockle present in significant quantities. Two dates were obtained from this site both from a sealed OGS low down in the stratigraphy, containing the pottery. Both lie in the Historic period (AD 1415-1441 and AD 1521-1631).
The church site here has well-referenced Early Christian origins (Canmore, NMRS nos: NG74NW 1 & 7) and it was thought that the midden might relate to that. In the event it appears to be more recent. Finds were scarce and generally undiagnostic, though the glass is post-medieval. The radiocarbon dates indicate activity in Historic times. This is a fertile location close to one of the main points of activity in Applecross, and it is not surprising to find general background debris from human settlement through the ages. <1>

See link to online published report below for radiocarbon dates, and see also link below to online Scottish Radiocarbon Database.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 7138 4580 (10m by 10m)
Map sheet NG74NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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