MHG62956 - Enclosure - Beaufort


Possible horse arena at Beaufort.

Type and Period (2)

  • ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • HORSE EXERCISE RING? (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The Inverness Field Club, led by Donald Coghill, surveyed a number of sites in the Aird area between 1987 and 1989. Beaufort.
At this point is the N.W. end of a level terrace between a high bank and a steep drop down to the Beauly River, where a stone and turf wall comes round in a curve and a modern track cuts through this low embankment. Opposite the cruives in the river there is a 6 yards wide gap, and 135 yards S.E. of this gap there are two closely spaced irregular shaped stone cairns adjoining the outside of the line of this long narrow enclosure. At this point there is a minor earthwork which seems to have formed some kind of entrance. The S.E. end of this elongated field cannot now easily be traced on the ground but it is marked on the map. At the S.W. side and below the steep bank of dense bracken the wall takes the form of a narrow terrace suitable for seating, and near the N.W. end of the enclosure (OS 501433) it is crossed by a (probably later) straight flat topped stone wall, two feet high, which extends at an angle 30 yards into the enclosure and an equal distance on the outside where there appears to be a ditch at its S.W. side cut into the steep bank. Above this high bank and towards the S.E., at OS 502432, there is, on level ground, a rampart 18 yards long coming at right angles to the top of the slope where a pathway commences to curve down towards the N.E. and widens out above the seating terrace.
Adjoining the rampart at the N.W. side and on the level ground at the edge of the steep bank there is a low turf wall 20 yards long curving in from the edge in the shape of a semicircle, to again meet the edge. It has a diameter of about 15 yards. 30 yards further N.W. there is another and much wider pathway curving down the slope in the same north-easterly direction. 95 yards further N.W. from this point there is a similar semi-circular low turf wall of the same dimensions as the one to the N.E., but this one has a silted-up outer ditch clearly defined. This is also situated on level ground at the edge of the steep slope. Both small enclosures appear to have been some sort of grandstand for the gentry with a superb view overlooking, and more or less opposite, the centre of a medieval arena below where tournaments, horse racing and other contests were held. The while, or part of this complex, may belong to an earlier period, later reused. <1>

Ordnance Survey Mastermap <2>

1st Edition OS 6" <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 5016 4321 (252m by 186m) Indicative centroid
Map sheet NH54SW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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