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Watching Brief

Date December 2008 - October 2009

Event ID 607905

Category Recording

Type Watching Brief


A watching brief and small excavation were carried out

December 2008 in a sheet-piled cofferdam, prior to the

insertion of a concrete base for a temporary jetty, on the

shoreline to the W of Urquhart Castle (NH 5302 2870). An

area of slippage at the base of the slope E of the Water Gate

(NH 5308 2856) was also recorded prior to remedial work.

There were no finds or features of archaeological significance.

A minor excavation was carried out at Urquhart Castle in

February 2009 prior to the replacement of a wooden stair

leading to the upper level of the motte (NH 5302 2856).

The work aimed to ascertain the depth of bedrock and to

check for archaeological deposits. No finds or features of

archaeological significance were encountered and bedrock

was found in all but one trench. This trench contained

the concrete base of the existing steps. The area appears

to have been heavily disturbed, probably during previous

archaeological excavations and during the installation of the

original wooden steps.

In February 2009 a further visit was made to monitor

the taking of core samples in the area of the proposed new

jetty (NH 5300 2870). There were no finds or features of

archaeological significance.

In September 2009 a small area in the ditch abutting the

W façade of the Grant Tower was excavated, to uncover the

earthing mesh of a lightning conductor running down from

the SW parapet (NH 5309 2866). An area of 5m was cleared

to a depth of 0.3m but nothing of archaeological interest was


Further to an initial assessment in February 2009, a

watching brief was maintained in October 2009, during

the excavation of nine small trenches to provide concrete

footings for a stair. The new trenches revealed nothing of

archaeological significance.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Paul Fox, Andrew Hollinrake and David Murray – Kirkdale


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