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Ob Na Ba Rubha

Township (Post Medieval)

Site Name Ob Na Ba Rubha

Classification Township (Post Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Ploc An Rubha

Canmore ID 11980

Site Number NG88SE 13

NGR NG 857 835

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Gairloch
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty


Field Visit (19 March 1965)

In a cleared area centred at NG 857 836, in open moorland gently sloping south towards Ob na Ba Ruaidhe, there are the remains of a depopulated settlement, comprising a small enclosure and 5 buildings, varying in size from 16.0 x 3.0m to 4.0 x 2.0m with an enclosure, max. ht. of 1.2m No name is known locally.

Visited by OS (N K B) 19 March 1965; Visible on RAF air photographs CPE/SCOT/UK/183 : 2020-1.

Field Visit (8 June 1994)

The gently-sloping ground around the bay at Ob na Ba Ruaidhe is bounded by steeply-rising ground to the N and S and broken, boggy ground to the W. This well-drained and relatively sheltered ground is occupied by a township, a scatter of huts and pens (some of which overlie township buildings), and about half a hectare of lazy-beds. MacKenzie (MacKenzie, 1924) refers to crofters occupying the peninsula (which he refers to as Am Ploc ard) forty years before his time (c.1862). A hut-circle (NG 88SE 6) lies within the S part of the cultivated ground. None of the elements of the settlement around the bay is shown on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Ross-shire, 1877, Sheet xxii) or earlier maps (Roy, 1747-55, Pont/Blaeu 1654).

The township buildings (Inverewe 2, 8, 9, 11, 15, 16) are scattered across a slight terrace at the S base of Ploc an Rubha to the N of the majority of the cultivation. The buildings measure from 6m by 2.5m to 9.7m by 3.1m within faced-rubble walls up to 0.9m in thickness and 0.5m in height. Where visible, the entrances are mid-way along a side wall, and there is what may be a byre-drain along the centre of one of the buildings (Inverewe 2). Three of the buildings (Inverewe 9, 15, 16) are overlain by huts or pens. One of the buildings (Inverewe 11) has been heavily robbed and has been reduced to little more than a platform, with a fragmentary boulder-faced stony bank, levelled into the slope. As such it differs from the other buildings within the township and may be of earlier date.

There is a scatter of pens and huts across the site with a cluster along the base of Creag an Achaidh, and a second loose grouping to the N; several of which overlie township buildings. The pens (Inverewe 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 14) measure between 0.8m by 0.4m and 1.6m by 1.1m within coursed boulder walls. These do not generally have an entrance and may have been twinning pens. Two of these pens (Inverewe 6, 7) overlie the remains of a hut. The huts (Inverewe 5, 13) are rather larger, measuring 1.8m by 1.4m and 2.9m by 1.7m internally. A rectangular setting of four stones (Inverewe 12) measuring 0.8m by 0.4m internally and situated just above the storm beach may have contained a camp fire. The cultivation remains are spread across the gently-sloping ground around the bay. The ridging appears to be lazy-beds, although there may be some ploughing in the SE of the site. The lazy-beds extend up to 110m in length across the central swathe and vary between 2m and 4m across, with the furrows, or gaps between the beds, varying between less than 0.5m and about 4m. The lazy-beds are not strictly enclosed, although there are banks which demarcate the S and W edges of the cultivation. A three-sided enclosure (the fourth side is marked by a burn) encloses a patch of lazy-beds. There is a scatter of small cairns measuring up to 3m in diameter across the site, which may be composed of stone from the medieval and later lazy-beds or earlier cultivation. A stone founded path running from the jetty to the 2nd World War Nissen huts on Ploc an Rubha (NG 859 839, NG88SE 21.02) cuts across the lazy-beds, running past a concrete stance, presumably for a water pump, to the W of the dam, and across two of the field banks.

(Inverewe 1-9, 11-16)

Visited by RCAHMS (DCC) 8 June 1994.

Field Visit (February 1998 - November 1998)

Srp Note (2 November 2011)

Site is as described.

Information from NTS: INVG005 (JH 1998)


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