Blar Nam Feinne

Battle Site (11th Century)(possible), Battle Site (15th Century)(possible), Burial Cairn(s) (possible), Cairnfield

Site Name Blar Nam Feinne

Classification Battle Site (11th Century)(possible), Battle Site (15th Century)(possible), Burial Cairn(s) (possible), Cairnfield

Canmore ID 12728

Site Number NH54SE 5

NGR NH 595 433

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Kirkhill
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Inverness
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

595 433.

(Area: NH 595433) Blar Nam Feinne {NR} (Site of Battle fought here between Malcolm King of Scotland & Thorfinn, a Norwegian Earl)

Cairns [NR] Twice

OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1906)

Blar nam Feinne is traditionally the scene of an early 11th c. battle which resulted in the defeat of the Scots and the death of Malcolm (Name Book 1872); and also as the site of the defeat of Donald Balloch in the 15th c. (W Jolly 1885) The cairns are supposed to mark the burials on both occasions. Wallace (T Wallace 1886) describes them simply as several cairns measuring from 12 to 21ft in diameter and from 3 to 5ft high, situated in the young wood east of Alt-na-Ceardaich not far from the road leading to Kirkton Muir.

Information from OS (E S) 23 November 1964

T Wallace 1886; W Jolly 1885; Name Book 1872.

The tradition of a battle between Malcolm and Torfinn is still known locally at Blar nam Feinne. The majority of the alleged associated mounds have been destroyed by forestry operations; only about 20 remain and these are considerably mutilated. Composed of stones, they measure on average 6.0m diameter and 0.6m in height. They would appear to be field clearance heaps forming a minor field system, but afforestation has obliterated any trace of field walls or hut circles.

Visited by OS (N K B) 12 December 1966

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS (R L) 13 April 1970

Only two cairns of c.2-3m in diameter were found as part of this site, lying close to the deer fence line at NH 595/432. Both are heavily damaged (see photographs) one has been previously planted, whilst the 2nd has been machined during ditching operations 6 years ago. The cairns lie in an area heavily planted 17 years ago and no trace of any other cairns was found.

Full report lodged with Highland SMR and the NMRS.

Sponsor: Smiths Gore Chartered Surveyors.

S Farrell 2001

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