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RCAHMS Afforestable Land Survey, Glen Urquhart

Date 1997

Event ID 550873

Category Project

Type Project


Glenurquhart: field survey of the north side of Glenurquhart, from Loch Ness to the watershed with Strathglass, was begun in August and is due for completion in October 1997. The initial fieldwork has revealed a complex pattern of post-medieval settlement in a glen unaffected by 18th and 19th-century clearance, and has identified what is probably at least one new Pictish barrow cemetery, and several additional barrows at the Garbeg Pictish cemetery, as well as two unusual building types that may be relatively late in the sequence of prehistoric settlement.

RCAHMS (DES 1997, 90)

The west side of the Great Glen has not been much explored by the RCAHMS, despite the pressures of afforestation; consequently, this project was targeted on Glen Urquhart. The south side of the glen has been largely afforested, but the gaps between the plantations on the north side offered some potential for survey. This part of the valley has at least one well-known Pictish cemetery at Garbeg [NH53SW 15], and an additional cemetery was recognised at Buntait during the course of the survey. A number of round-ended buildings with slightly bowed sides were found in the ground beyond the improved fields, including one group at Garbeg [NH53SW 7]. The dating of these newly discovered structures is uncertain, but the buildings possibly indicate a period of settlement during the 1 st millennium AD.

The glen, which was largely unaffected by the Clearances, contains a complex pattern of post-medieval townships. The building and fields of the townships are depicted in some detail on the 1st edition OS 6-inch map, but the buildings have suffered considerable redevelopment since the late 19th century and few pre-Improvement field-systems have survived the last 150 years.

RCAHMS Annual Review 1997-8, p.23

Project Code: URQ97

Area: 55km2

Structures database: MS 731/25 (manuscript), DX 001443 (database)

Linework: TM 000408

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