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Holme Rose

Cropmark(S), Enclosure (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Holme Rose

Classification Cropmark(S), Enclosure (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Easter Galcantray; Holme-rose

Canmore ID 15033

Site Number NH84NW 20

NGR NH 810 483

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/15033

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Croy And Dalcross (Nairn)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Nairn
  • Former County Nairn

Archaeology Notes

NH84NW 20 810 483.

The S side and parts of the E and W sides of a rectilinear enclosure are revealed as crop-marks in a field 300m N of Easter Galcantray. A gap at the centre of the S side marks the position of the entrance.

RCAHMS 1978, visited May 1978.

Trial excavated by Professor Jones in 1985. Large Roman type ditch c. 4m wide and 3m deep, uncovered. Part of gate with three post holes, c. 30cm square, excavated. Small piece of Roman coarse ware found with burnt material at bottom of ditch.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1984; G D B Jones and I Keillar 1985.

Further excavation confirms general Roman appearance of ditch. Evidence of manual backfilling. Many square post holes, massively chocked, in interior of site. The only pottery which is easily identifiable appears to be medieval. Topographical and geological investigations continue. Carbon-14 dates awaited. Further work necessary to conclusively establish the character of this site.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1986.

Excavation for Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne Universities was directed by Professor G D B Jones and Messrs C M Daniels and I Keillar. At the SW angle the ditch was found to be c. 3.60m wide with an upper filling of river-boulders. Within, the rampart-base was formed of a spread of cobbles in which were set the eight large post-pits of an angle-tower measuring 4.6 by 4.9m. The pits were c. 0.9m in diameter; the posts had been removed. Behind the tower lay an area of iron clinker and signs of at least three furnace bottoms. In the interior, close to the river-bank, elements of rectilinear timber buildings were noted.

S S Frere 1986.

Further excavation has revealed a gateway 4.3m wide flanked by three posts on each side. Within, a rectangular timber structure

represented by post-holes or post-pads ran N-S on the W side of the road; it was 7.3m wide and at least 24.4m long, with a third row of smaller posts 2.7m to the W. The building appears to be undivided internally. On the E side of the road part of another similar structure was uncovered. No arteficial evidence of date was found save that sherds of medieval pottery were found over the ditch-filling; but a C14 date of 1880 +/- 20 BP has been obtained from charcoal by the Groningen Isotopic Laboratory, giving a calibrated date of AD 80-130. The charcoal came from demolition deposits in the western ditch.

S S Frere 1987.

A third season's work by Manchester and Newcastle Universities uncovered the curved SW corner of the ditch. Massive post holes indicate the probability of a corner tower while the cobbling and revetting is of good quality.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1987.

The fourth season's work confirmed the existence of a corner tower. Charcoal was obtained from several of the holes and dating is in progress. A blue melon bead was found in one of the post holes. A resistivity survey showed the presence of an oblique defensive structure shielding the entrance. Three very small pieces of coarse pottery were found.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1988.

The fifth season's work uncovered a cobbled road-like surface behind the southern ditch. The post-hole pattern outlined a building some 21m long. A final season's work is planned for next year.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1989c.

Further work in 1990 uncovered many additional post holes.

G D B Jones and I Keillar.

Activities

Excavation (1985 - 1990)

Manuscripts, slides, photographs and drawings from the Barri Jones collection pertaining to the enclosure at Cawdor (Easter Galcantray). A total of 12 trenches were opened.

Trial excavated by Professor Jones in 1985. Large Roman type ditch c. 4m wide and 3m deep, uncovered. Part of gate with three post holes, c. 30cm square, excavated. Small piece of Roman coarse ware found with burnt material at bottom of ditch.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1984; G D B Jones and I Keillar 1985.

Further excavation confirms general Roman appearance of ditch. Evidence of manual backfilling. Many square post holes, massively chocked, in interior of site. The only pottery which is easily identifiable appears to be medieval. Topographical and geological investigations continue. Carbon-14 dates awaited. Further work necessary to conclusively establish the character of this site.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1986.

A third season's work by Manchester and Newcastle Universities uncovered the curved SW corner of the ditch. Massive post holes indicate the probability of a corner tower while the cobbling and revetting is of good quality.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1987.

The fourth season's work confirmed the existence of a corner tower. Charcoal was obtained from several of the holes and dating is in progress. A blue melon bead was found in one of the post holes. A resistivity survey showed the presence of an oblique defensive structure shielding the entrance. Three very small pieces of coarse pottery were found.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1988.

The fifth season's work uncovered a cobbled road-like surface behind the southern ditch. The post-hole pattern outlined a building some 21m long. A final season's work is planned for next year.

G D B Jones and I Keillar 1989c.

Further work in 1990 uncovered many additional post holes.

G D B Jones and I Keillar.

References

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