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Allanfearn Station

Barrow(S) (Prehistoric), Barrow Cemetery (Prehistoric), Square Barrow(S) (Iron Age)

Site Name Allanfearn Station

Classification Barrow(S) (Prehistoric), Barrow Cemetery (Prehistoric), Square Barrow(S) (Iron Age)

Canmore ID 14211

Site Number NH74NW 23

NGR NH 7132 4758

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/14211

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Inverness And Bona
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Inverness
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NH74NW 23 713 475

NH 713 475. Crop-marks showing the ditches of at least one square and two circular barrows have been recorded 280m WNW of Allanfearn farmhouse (visible on RCAHMS air photographs, 1977). The square barrow measures about 5m square within a ditch which may be interrupted by causeways at the corners; it appears to be joined by two transverse ditches to a circular barrow measuring about 5m in diameter within a ditch about 1m wide. There is at least one other circular barrow to the W.

RCAHMS 1979.

In January and February 1993, GUARD carried out a geophysical survey of these barrows in advance of the construction of a sewage farm. The barrows are not upstanding, and the intention of the survey was to locate them and any further associated remains within the field. The barrows themselves, being scheduled monuments, were not under threat, but any remains outwith the scheduled area could have been damaged by construction work. In order to allow for the possibility of siting the sewage farm in a less archaeologically-sensitive area, the two adjoining fields were also surveyed.

Survey was carried out using a fluxgate gradiometer; resistivity was inappropriate because of the free-draining nature of the site. A total of 112 20m-grids were surveyed, giving a coverage of 44800m sq.

Within the sheduled area, the three barrows were located but appeared only faintly. The reason for this is that the banks of the barrows have been substantially ploughed out with the magnetic signal dispersed accordingly. A possible fourth barrow was also indicated in close proximity to the other barrows. The only other potentially important anomalies were interpreted as a possible sub-oval enclosure and a possible hut circle.

In the adjoining fields, a rectilineal anomaly, interpreted as an enclosure, and a possible sub-oval enclosure were located in the field to the E, while a field bank and enclosure were indicated in the field to the W.

Sponsor: Highland Regional Council Water and Sewerage.

I Banks 1993.

Recent aerial photography (RCAHMSAP 1995) has revealed the cropmarks of at least two further square barrows. One is situated about 10m to the WSW of the previously described barrows and it measures about 7m square with a centrally placed mark that may represent a burial pit. About 30m to the ENE is a second possible square barrow, measuring about 5m across. A linear cropmark, aligned ENE-W and visible for about 40m to 50m intersects this barrow. Other indeterminate cropmarks in the immediate area may be additional barrows. These cropmarks were previously classified merely as 'barrows'.

Information from RCAHMS (KJ), 19 October 1999.

NH 713 475 An excavation by GUARD prior to the construction of a new sewage treatment works revealed a series of enigmatic deposits, a selection of which are described below.

Trench A. The partial remains of a roundhouse structure were excavated. The house had a central ring of post-holes forming the main structural element. There was a large and well-defined E facing entrance but little evidence for an outer wall. A fire pit or hearth was located to the rear of the building and a line of stake-holes suggested an internal partition.

Trench B. A possible Bronze Age cremation urn containing small fragments of burnt bone was excavated from a small pit outside a possible kerbed cairn. This satellite burial was the only one recovered.

Trench G. A linear feature was excavated which may represent a trackway or path running parallel to the shore.

Trench J/K. The remains of a possible domestic structure and a series of pits were excavated, along with the partial remains of a burial cairn or barrow. The cairn material was contained within a shallow cut, a stake-hole group in the centre of the cairn may have formed some sort of mortuary house enclosing a burial or a temporary grave as no trace of a body was recovered. The cairn had been severely truncated by ploughing.

Trench L. A double ditch formation was interpreted as a prehistoric field boundary, associated with two large pits, one of which appeared to be for the deposition of domestic debris.

Sponsor: Highland Regional Council Water & Sewerage Department.

S Bain and I Cullen 1996.

Activities

Aerial Photography (1977)

Aerial Photographic Transcription (30 October 1991 - 25 November 1991)

An aerial transcription was produced from oblique aerial photographs. Information from Historic Environment Scotland (BM) 31 March 2017.

Magnetometry (January 1993 - February 1993)

In January and February 1993, GUARD carried out a geophysical survey of these barrows in advance of the construction of a sewage farm. The barrows are not upstanding, and the intention of the survey was to locate them and any further associated remains within the field. The barrows themselves, being scheduled monuments, were not under threat, but any remains outwith the scheduled area could have been damaged by construction work. In order to allow for the possibility of siting the sewage farm in a less archaeologically-sensitive area, the two adjoining fields were also surveyed.

Survey was carried out using a fluxgate gradiometer; resistivity was inappropriate because of the free-draining nature of the site. A total of 112 20m-grids were surveyed, giving a coverage of 44800m sq.

Within the sheduled area, the three barrows were located but appeared only faintly. The reason for this is that the banks of the barrows have been substantially ploughed out with the magnetic signal dispersed accordingly. A possible fourth barrow was also indicated in close proximity to the other barrows. The only other potentially important anomalies were interpreted as a possible sub-oval enclosure and a possible hut circle.

In the adjoining fields, a rectilineal anomaly, interpreted as an enclosure, and a possible sub-oval enclosure were located in the field to the E, while a field bank and enclosure were indicated in the field to the W.

Sponsor: Highland Regional Council Water and Sewerage.

I Banks 1993

Aerial Photography (1995)

Excavation (1996)

NH 713 475 An excavation by GUARD prior to the construction of a new sewage treatment works revealed a series of enigmatic deposits, a selection of which are described below.

Trench A. The partial remains of a roundhouse structure were excavated. The house had a central ring of post-holes forming the main structural element. There was a large and well-defined E facing entrance but little evidence for an outer wall. A fire pit or hearth was located to the rear of the building and a line of stake-holes suggested an internal partition.

Trench B. A possible Bronze Age cremation urn containing small fragments of burnt bone was excavated from a small pit outside a possible kerbed cairn. This satellite burial was the only one recovered.

Trench G. A linear feature was excavated which may represent a trackway or path running parallel to the shore.

Trench J/K. The remains of a possible domestic structure and a series of pits were excavated, along with the partial remains of a burial cairn or barrow. The cairn material was contained within a shallow cut, a stake-hole group in the centre of the cairn may have formed some sort of mortuary house enclosing a burial or a temporary grave as no trace of a body was recovered. The cairn had been severely truncated by ploughing.

Trench L. A double ditch formation was interpreted as a prehistoric field boundary, associated with two large pits, one of which appeared to be for the deposition of domestic debris.

Sponsor: Highland Regional Council Water & Sewerage Department.

S Bain and I Cullen 1996

Aerial Photographic Interpretation (19 October 1999)

Recent aerial photography (RCAHMSAP 1995) has revealed the cropmarks of at least two further square barrows. One is situated about 10m to the WSW of the previously described barrows and it measures about 7m square with a centrally placed mark that may represent a burial pit. About 30m to the ENE is a second possible square barrow, measuring about 5m across. A linear cropmark, aligned ENE-W and visible for about 40m to 50m intersects this barrow. Other indeterminate cropmarks in the immediate area may be additional barrows. These cropmarks were previously classified merely as 'barrows'.

Information from RCAHMS (KJ) 19 October 1999.

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