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Date September 2001

Event ID 829092

Category Recording

Type Excavation


ND27SW 85 219 711

ND 219 711 Excavations were undertaken at Brotchie's Steading in September 2001 to elucidate its structure and history. Two whale jawbones, stored in Dunnet Visitor Centre, were known to have been used as the blades of a cruck truss in one of its rooms. These, together with the pieces recovered from the excavation, enabled the reconstruction of the original truss.

The building itself was cleared of overburden down to the first-floor surface, but five phases of development have potentially been identified from the excavation and an exposed section downslope from the main structure. The floors exposed by the excavation are all probably of late 19th- or early 20th-century date, but archaeological deposits over 1.5m deep were recorded in a test pit excavated at the building's southern end.

From an early phase the building takes on the typical form of a linear crofthouse (longhouse) running down the slope, presumably to improve drainage at the byre end. During later phases the steading was significantly modified by the addition of extra rooms and internal partitions. In its final form this would have incorporated a comfortable kitchen and bedroom, each with its own fireplace.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsors: HS, Russell Trust.

T Holden 2002.

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