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Site Name Poolewe

Classification Hoard

Canmore ID 11986

Site Number NG88SE 5

NGR NG 862 805

NGR Description NG c. 862 805

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

Archaeology Notes

NG88SE 5 c. 862 805

See also NG88SE 42.

A Late Bronze Age bronze hoard, not earlier than the late 8th c BC (J M Coles 1962) was found by Hector McIver in May 1877 during peat-digging on high ground, on the N side of and overlooking the River Ewe some distance beyond the public school at Poolewe. (W Jolly 1880) The contants lay together at a depth of 6' and consisted of 5 socketed axes (1 broken and 2 fragmentary), 3 rings and a penannular ornament with trumpet terminals.

In 1879 most of the hoard was acquired by Sir Kenneth McKenzie of Gairloch, who presented the penannular ornament to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) in 1881 (Accession no: DO 20). One of the rings was retained by McIver and is now untraceable, but Coles located the remainder of the hoard at Conan House, and it is now on loan to the NMAS (Accession nos: L.1958.7-13).

W Jolly 1880; J M Coles 1962; NMAS Loan Card Index.

The hoard was found in the peat bog centred at NG 862 805 approximately 100.0m E of Creag an Fhitich, the "high ground" mentioned by Jolly (W Jolly 1880), but the exact findspot cannot be ascertained. No similar finds have been made since.

Visited by OS (N K B) 15 March 1965.

Hoard, found in 1877 when digging peats at a site on the N side of the river Ewe and some distance from the Public School at Poolewe. The finder, H. MacIver, kept one object (a ring like one other with a T-shaped section) which is now untraceable.

The hoard comprised: three socketed axes of Sompting type (or variant), two unclassified socketed axes, ring with hollow section and rectangular hole in one side, two rings with T-shaped section (one of them missing), and penannular ornament with trumpet-shaped terminals.

(Socketed axes of Sompting type).

1581. Socketed axe, rough brown surface, cleaned(?), untrimmed, blade hammered, portion of haft inside socket; length 112mm, mouth 30x31mm, cutting edge 70mm, weight 390 gms. NMA (L.1958.8).

1582. Socketed axe, damaged, most of mouth missing, rough brown surface, cleaned (?), untrimmed; length 93mm, cutting edge 63mm, weight 210 gms. NMA (L.1958.10).

(Socketed axe: Roseberry Topping variant of Sompting type).

Socketed axe, rough surface, light brown, flaw underneath loop, trimmed, cutting edge corroded or worn, short haft ribs; length 113mm, mouth 35 x 35mm, cutting edge 59mm, weight 380 gms. NMA (L.1958.7).

(Unclassified socketed axes).

1693. Socketed axe fragment, cutting edge, light brown; cutting edge 69mm, weight 125 gms. NMA (L.1958.9).

1694. Socketed axe fragment, part of mouth missing, rough, porous, light brown; length 56mm, cutting edge 38mm, weight 80 gms. NMA (L.1958.11).

PK Schmidt and CB Burgess 1981.


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