MHG7285 - Enclosed settlement and Ring ditches - Balblair


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • RING DITCH (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC to 560 AD)
  • DEFENDED ENCLOSURE (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH85NE 46 877 551.

'Air photography has revealed a range of cropmarks in addition to the already known fort at Balblair with its ditch, two concentric internal palisades and internal features. There are at least two probable penannular ring ditches lying W and NW of the fort. To the south are a variety of linear features, some of which may be ice wedges, others may be field boundaries.' (See archive for details.)
Information from J Harden 1989.

Aerial photography has revealed a series of cropmarks scattered across a field 350m ESE of Balblair House (NH85NE 8). A large oval enclosure, measuring about 55m by 40m internally, has a parallel pair of palisades 4m apart, and 6m in from the external ditch. At least one circular mark within this enclosure, probably a house, suggests that this is a settlement. It has an entrance on the S side.
A number of indeterminate circular and sub-circular marking, some of which may be ring-ditches, have also been recorded immediately to the S and W of this settlement, five of which appear on the same alignment. An irregular curving linear cropmark runs for some 50m NE from the roadside in the NW corner of the field, and one of the features identified as a penannular ring-ditch (above) lies to the 40m to the NW of the settlement.
Further cropmarks are visible in the SE corner of the field, 150m SSE of the settlement. Two circular marks, both with diameters of approximately 10m, may be further round-houses, and arcs of ditch between and to the W are probably parts of ring-ditches. Various other indeterminate markings have been recorded immediately to the N.
Swirling cropmarks in the SW corner of in the same field are geological in origin, and irregular narrow linear features in the NE corner represent frost or ice wedges.
Information from RCAHMS (KB) 7 July 1999

A defended enclosure comprising a ditch and two parallel palisades are clearly visible from aerial photography. See link below to HES Camore record for aerial photographs. <1>

This site was included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <2>

Sources/Archives (15)



Grid reference Centred NH 8769 5510 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH85NE
Civil Parish NAIRN
Geographical Area NAIRN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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