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Skye, Balmaqueen, Kilmaluag

Head Dyke (Post Medieval), Township (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Skye, Balmaqueen, Kilmaluag

Classification Head Dyke (Post Medieval), Township (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Balmacquien

Canmore ID 114684

Site Number NG47SW 35

NGR NG 4375 7490

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Kilmuir
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NG47SW 35 4375 7490

A township, comprising one roofed, one partially roofed L-shaped building, seven unroofed buildings and a head-dyke is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch maps (Inverness-shire 1878, Isle of Skye, sheet iv).

Three roofed, one unroofed building and a head-dyke are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10560 map (1966).

Information from RCAHMS (AKK), 8 October 1996.


Excavation (26 July 2011)

NG 4370 7490 (centred on) A desk-based assessment and walkover survey were carried out on 26 July 2011 at 7 North Duntulm prior to the construction of two houses. The survey identified a range of features, which mostly consisted of well preserved post-medieval settlement remains, representing multiple phases of occupation and building. The structures included houses, byres, boundary dykes and kale yards. The only prehistoric feature recorded was a possible cairn of Neolithic or Bronze Age date.

A programme of mitigation works, designed to record and investigate some of the remains prior to their destruction, and to safeguard sites on the periphery of the development, was undertaken 9–11 November 2011. Evaluation trenches were opened over three structures and a watching brief was maintained during the excavation of access routes, sceptic tank locations and associated pipelines.

A 4.5 x 2.5m trench was opened over house site C4. The trench exposed areas of well-built paving, a paved route through a doorway and an underlying drain. The location of the drain through the entrance and a soakaway for the drain in the interior of the building suggested that the structure was used as a byre before it was modified for residential use. The modifications included the thickening of the front, N-facing wall to house two splayed windows, a chimney at the W end of the building and associated hearth furniture.

A thick layer of ash and charred wood discovered overlying the floor provided evidence of a serious fire. At some stage after this event the two windows were blocked with stone and it is possible that the building was again used as a byre or store. Small finds recovered during the excavation included ceramics which suggested occupation during the latter half of the 19th century, and continued use of the building into the early 20th century.

The evaluation of structure A3 revealed a stone built structure, which was revetted into sloping ground, with a cobbled floor and internal dividing wall. Few small finds were recovered during the excavation and the building is thought to have functioned as a byre. The remaining structures and features identified across the site will not affected by the proposed development.

Archive: Highland HER, RCAHMS and WCAS (intended)

Funder: Mr and Mrs Reitsma

West Coast Archaeological Services, 2011

Information from Oasis (westcoas1-108590) 15 September 2011

Archaeological Evaluation (9 November 2011 - 17 January 2012)

NG 4370 7490. A small-scale archaeological excavation and watching brief was carried out at 7 North Duntulm on the Trotternish peninsula of the Isle of Skye, in advance of the development of two new house sites. The work was undertaken in terms of the mitigation strategy recommended by West Coast Archaeological Services following a detailed archaeological survey of the proposed development sites carried out on 26th July 2011


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