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Farmstead (Period Unassigned), Kiln Barn (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Balnasuim

Classification Farmstead (Period Unassigned), Kiln Barn (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Balnasuim Township

Canmore ID 140342

Site Number NN63NE 50

NGR NN 6700 3820

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Kenmore (Perth And Kinross)
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN63NE 50 6700 3820

A farmstead, comprising three roofed, two partially roofed, two unroofed buildings and two enclosures is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Perthshire 1867, sheet lxix). Four unroofed buildings and one enclosure are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1981).

Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 23 February 1998.

A third pilot season of the Ben Lawers Historic Landscape Project was undertaken in August 1998.


NN6710 3800 - NN 6600 3965 A walkover assessment of a survey transect at Balnasuim Farm, extending from Loch Tay to the head dyke, revealed around 38 groups of archaeological remains, comprising over 150 features. Of these, c.70 features were recorded by EDM survey in a transect from the lochside to the 200m contour. The survey included the ruined buildings, walls cultivation remains, revetted track and kiln-barn of Balnasuim township.


NN 6702 3822 A trench was excavated over the remains of a longhouse structure within the deserted township of Balnasuim. The building was orientated SW-NE and had been dug into the natural slope to form a terrace revetted on one side. Two phases of use were identified. Phase one was represented by a structure 10.5m long by c 3m broad (internally) which had a floor sloping gradually to the SE and SW, which increased dramatically at the SW end of the structure to form a probable sump. At this end an area had been cordoned off within two stone walls, the interior of which had been artificially raised. Within the raised area a drain ran SW-NE, through the wall and into the sump. The phase one building had an entrance located centrally along the NW wall, though no evidence of roofing was apparent.

During phase two, the building was extended to the NE by 5m giving it an overall length of 16.5m (internally). At this stage a new entrance was located in the NW wall 2.6m from the NE gable. The hearth would appear to have been relocated as a gable hearth. It was noted that the floor deposits within the phase one building were very mottled and disturbed which may indicate that after the phase two extension had been built the entire area of the phase one building was turned over to byre accommodation. Dating evidence from the phase one construction would appear to suggest an early 18th-century establishment date, with abandonment occurring prior to the 1862 OS 1st edition.

An interim report will be lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsors: Historic Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Russell Trust, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

J A Atkinson, M Donnelly, O Lelong and G MacGregor 1998.

John Farquharson's 1769 Survey of the North Side of Loch Tay (National Archives of Scotland, RHP 973/1, Plan 11) depicts a settlement of nine buildings and three enclosures at this location. The 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Perthshire 1867, sheet lxix), depicts seven buildings, five of them roofed or partly roofed, and two enclosures, with a layout similar to that on the 1769 map. All but one of these seven buildings appear on the 2nd edition of the OS map (Perthshire 1900, sheet lxix NW) but only one of them was still roofed. The township was surveyed in 1998 by Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division, and one building was excavated, as described above. For a survey plan and a full report on the excavation see RCAHMS MS 725/208.

(BL00 2613)

Information from RCAHMS (SDB) 30 October 2007


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