MHG58319 - Turf Banks - An Caladh Croft


Excavations in 2015 & 2017 revealed two turf banks, both under-laid with clay and apparently with ditches on their SW sides.

Type and Period (1)

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD?) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Two linear banks are visible on aerial photography captured 1999-2001. <1>

Fan-shaped long linear dykes are visible in moorland near the Heights of Dochcarty near Dingwall. It is an area of prehistoric activity, but maps do not show much settlement before 1800. The Inverness Young Archaeologists Club investigated these dykes in 2015 and 2017, with the 2017 season supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The 2015 season put two trenches across the biggest dyke, and discovered that the builders had put down a layer of clay, and then layers of turfs. A layer of burning was just above the clay. The 2017 season put a long trench across what was originally thought to be three dykes. The excavation however revealed just two which were apparently acompanied by ditches both on their SW side.
No artefacts were found, but a few pieces of charcoal were recovered, one of which was suitable for radicarbon dating, and which returned a date of 2362 ±30 BP, 385 cal BC (SUERC-75687 (GU45772)). However, the sample charcoal showed signs of abrasion and wear suggesting that it may have moved around, so this date is very much limited to a ‘terminus post quem’ or earliest possible date for the bank.
The banks could represent an entirely new type of feature for this area, perhaps forming some kind of property boundary or drove route. The labour involved in their construction certainly implies they were important features in the landscape, and they could potentially relate to the other extensive hut circles in the area. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 5211 6218 (98m by 101m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH56SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish FODDERTY

Finds (0)

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External Links (1)

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