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Field Visit

Date April 2008 - May 2008

Event ID 576823

Category Recording

Type Field Visit

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/576823

NR 78080 90245 (centred on) The settlement of Kilmory Oib is in N Knapdale forest. During a previous survey 17

potential structures, in various states of preservation, were identified including possible byres, domestic buildings, two ‘sub-circular’ mounds of rubble that may represent corn dryers and buildings superimposed over earlier structures.

In April–May 2008 two trenches were opened across two badly collapsed structures (Structures 3 and 7) that were thought to represent the earliest buildings in the settlement. The excavation revealed that the two structures were probably in use until the settlement was abandoned.

Structure 3, while built with solid footings, appears to have been an outbuilding, store or workhouse, possibly a

peat store. Structure 3 appears to have replaced an earlier building (Structure 17). This earlier building was a post-built structure with evidence of stone and clay footings along one side. The building had a beaten earth floor with evidence of hearth placements. The age of this earlier structure proved elusive as no diagnostic artefacts associated with its use were recovered.

Structure 7, with its central drain, was probably a byre, the northern end of a byre dwelling. A later structure was built over the byre. This was probably a shepherd’s bothy built after the settlement was abandoned and converted for sheep farming. Both buildings, like other structures in the settlement, appear to have declined rapidly and it is possible they had been demolished. Whether this was deliberate so that the buildings could not be reused, or the result of the reuse of the building materials is not clear. It is possible that rubble from the buildings was used to build the track to the E of the site, which seems to have used substantial quantities of

stone in its construction.

The date at which the settlement was abandoned remains unclear, although documentary research indicates it was not long after the Arichonan clearance in 1848. In 1843 those tenants liable to pay road money from Kilmory are listed as Neil McCallum, John Gillies, Archibald McDugall and Angus McDougall. Further research needs to be done, but these men and their families may have been the last to occupy the settlement, and it may be the remains of their life here that we have recovered during the excavation.

Archive: Kilmartin House Museum (intended). Report: Historic Scotland, WoSAS SMR and RCAHMS

Funder: Dalriada Project

Roddy Regan (Kilmartin House Museum), 2008

People and Organisations

References