MHG9342 - Kinbrace Farm


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • TOWNSHIP (Undated)
  • CORN DRYING KILN (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC82NE 42 875 287

In the modern pasture fields around Kinbrace Farm, is a minor settlement, comprising five buildings, a corn-drying kiln, some field walls and lazy beds. Some stone clearance heaps in the area may be earlier, possibly Iron Age.
Visited by OS 2 February 1976.

This township comprises four clusters of buildings and enclosures on either side of the Kinbrace Burn near its confluence with the River Helmsdale, all of which occupy the fringes of an area defined by a head-dyke. There is one cluster at NC 869 285 on the S end of a low ridge, a short distance E of the railway line where it crosses the River Helmsdale, a second at NC 875 287 in the vicinity of the farm-buildings of Kinbrace Farm, a third some 250m S of the Kinbrace Burn and 40m E of the public road to Kinbrace at NC 874 282 and a fourth in the improved field immediately S of the Kinbrace Burn to the W of the public road at NC 872 283.
The first three clusters are connected by a head-dyke, which runs from the SE side of the first cluster and proceeds across some level, boggy ground towards the public road, from which it continues uphill as far as the kiln on the W side of the second cluster at Kinbrace Farm. A second length of the dyke starts from the E side of the cairn beside the farm (NC82NE 7) and runs in a curve S to the Kinbrace Burn at NC 8768 2841.
A third length of dyke picks up from the S of the burn opposite and turns W to run downhill to just short of the road at NC 8736 2833, where it meets another bank that runs SSE to the third group of buildings at NC 874 282.
The first cluster (KILD91 384-393) comprises eight buildings, a kiln-barn, a kiln and two enclosures on either side of an old road, which runs through the settlement from NW to SE and is defined by ditches on either side of a cambered surface, now completely overgrown. Several of the buildings have been robbed to their foundations and are sometimes traceable only by their robber-trenches. Of the buildings there are five long-buildings in excess of 14m in length to a maximum of 31m by up to 2.8m in breadth, two of which are sub-divided into two unequal compartments. The smaller buildings range from 7m to 10m in length. Five of the buildings lie in a close group to the W of the old road, more or less on the same axis from NE to SW, a few metres apart. One of these (KILD91 389) overlies the S corner of an earlier buildings (KILD91 388). The kiln is set into the bank of a natural ridge to the N of these buildings; its bowl measures 1.6m in diameter and it stands to 0.8m in height with a flue on the SE side and a grassy spread in front. The kiln-barn (KILD91 391) is set into the slope a short distance SW of the old road at NC 8687 2856; it measures 7.5m from NE to SW by 3.9m overall with the kiln at the upslope or NE end, measuring 1.9m across its bowl by 0.8m in depth.
The second group (KILD91 442-447) includes a kiln-barn and at least five buildings scattered around the steading of Kinbrace. To the E of the steading, on the N side of a cairn (NC82NE 7), a farmstead comprises a pair of parallel buildings with a yard in between, the southerly of which is a narrow out-building of three unequal compartments, measuring 19.2m from E to W by 2m transversely within rubble walls 0.6m in thickness and 0.4m in height with entrances on the S side. The remaining buildings vary from 13.5m to 26m in length, but are much reduced by robbing. The kiln-barn (KILD91 443), which lies to the E of the steading, is much reduced and measures 6.1m from NE to SW by 2.6m transversely with its kiln, the bowl of which measures 1.1m in diameter by 0.6m in depth, set into the slope at the NE end.
The third cluster (KILD91 448-450) comprises two buildings and at least one hut. The two buildings lie parallel to one another at the SE end of a dyke. The hut lies 15m to the SE and there is what may be a second just beyond it.
The fourth cluster is very much disturbed by recent cultivation and only one building (KILD91 451) could be discerned at the date of visit, although there are traces of several enclosures. This building measures 7.1m from N to S by 3m transversely within walls 0.9m in thickness and 0.3m in height.
The township is first documented in 1527, when it was part of a grant by James V to William Sinclare (Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1513-1546) and there were seven tenants, each with one hearth, in the Hearth Tax return of 1690 (SRO E69/23/1). There were nine tenants at Kinbrace and Shunachy in 1808 and six tenants at the two parts of Kinbrace in 1815, when one part included a mill (R Adam 1972), which was not located in the survey. (KILD91 384-393, 442-451)
Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 16 July 1991.

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 8725 2848 (872m by 607m)
Map sheet NC82NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish KILDONAN

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Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

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