MHG60365 - Trees Stumps with Bronze Age Axemarks - Kilbraur Wind Farm


During a watching brief at Kilbraur Windfarm tree stumps were recovered showing cut marks and possibly charring. Subsequent trees recovered were recorded and examined in detail.

Type and Period (1)

  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Archaeological monitoring of peat removal during construction of the sub‐station for Kilbraur Wind Farm, near Golspie in Sutherland, in March 2007, recorded 76 tree stumps or pieces of tree. These were uncovered at various depths in the peat with a band of trees at approximately 1m deep. Four of the tree‐stumps had evidence of tool‐marks and five showed evidence of burning. <1>

A palaeoenvironmental investigation into the stumps and the sediments containing them was undertaken in order to understand their significance. Tree stumps containing axe marks relating to Bronze Age axes had previously found nearby at Loch Farlary (MHG13310) and so an attempt was made to see how the stumps at Kilbraur would compare. A multi‐proxy approach was taken using pollen, non‐pollen palynomorph, plant macrofossil, dendrochronological and tool‐mark analyses. The results showed evidence which would correlate well with that of the stumps from Farlary. The Kilbraur stumps, although dating to later in the Neolithic, showed evidence of Bronze Age tool marks through possible peat cutting activity. The trees were found to be long‐lived and existed in a landscape where wet woodland and damp herbaceous vegetation communities eventually gave way to the development of heathland. There is also evidence of this heathland being managed through burning in relatively modern times. See attached report for full details. <2>

There are inconsistancies between the plan given in excavation report <1> and OS Mapping and Aps with the sub-station clearly built slightly north east of the area shown in figure 1. It is likely that the site location plan is indicative only of the watching brief areas and not an accurate plan of these. The grid references recorded for the location of the trees, which were described to have been found within the sub-station watching brief area, match the location of the sub-station as depicted on OS mapping and as visible on Aps. GW 20/05/19


Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 7880 0784 (143m by 105m)
Map sheet NC70NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish CLYNE

Finds (2)

  • PLANT REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC) + Sci.Date
  • WORKED OBJECT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC) + Sci.Date

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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