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Date 28 June 2013 - 1 July 2013

Event ID 993919

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NH7059 6585 Four test pits were opened in the internal corners of what are now referred to as the chancel and mausoleum of Kirkmichael. The work undertaken, 28 June – 1 July 2013, aimed to establish the nature of any wall footings or foundations and adjoining surfaces to inform conservation and reconstruction work. All test pits were 0.6 x 0.6m and bounded on two sides by the surviving wall structures.

Test pit 1 was located in the SW corner of the Gun Munro mausoleum and was excavated to a depth of 0.45m. An organic-rich layer containing plant material was uncovered, which was of even depth and appears to represent a floor layer. Foundation stones underlie the current walls, at a depth of 0.45m below the current floor level and protrude for c0.3m inside the building. Made up of undressed local sandstones, this foundation differs from the roughly-dressed red sandstone blocks forming the walls. Given the small area exposed, it is possible that they represent residual stones from a previous wall or robbed out floor layer.

Test pits 2, 3 and 4 were excavated to depths between 0.5–0.9m, but did not reveal any foundation or lower course wall layers. In some areas changes in render were noted, including a yellow clay sealing the gaps between stone in the lower wall of the easterly chancel, also known as the Urquhart mausoleum. Articulated human remains or those discovered within an identifiable burial cut were left in situ, but small fragments of disturbed human remains were recovered, as well as nails, shells, pottery fragments and glass sherds.

Archive: HAS. Report: Highland HER

Funder: The Kirkmichael Trust

Lynne McKeggie and Lachlan McKeggie, Highland Archaeology Services and volunteers from Kirkmichael Trust, 2013

(Source: DES)

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