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Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Balvattan

Classification Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Tullochgrue Hill; Whitewell; Upper Tullochgrue; Rothiemurchus

Canmore ID 15378

Site Number NH90NW 1

NGR NH 915 089

NGR Description Centred NH 915 089

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Duthil And Rothiemurchus
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Badenoch And Strathspey
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NH90NW 1 centred 915 089.

Centred at NH 915 089 on the E and NE slopes of the hill of Tullochgrue, is a settlement of 12 huts in two groups ('A'-'D' and 'M', and 'E'-'L'), and an associated field system.

The huts are poorly-defined by stone-walls, spread to a regular width of c 2.5m to c 3.0m, and surviving to a height of c 0.2m. No wall faces are visible and the entrances, where evident, are ill-defined.

Huts 'D' and 'M' are oval, the remainder are circular. All hut diameters are measured between wall centres.

Hut 'A', measuring c 11.0m in diameter, is so mutilated that the wall thickness, and details of the entrance, which was probably in the SE where there is a gap, are not evident.

'B', set into a slope, measures c 11.0m in diameter. No entrance is evident. The E arc is mutilated.

'C', the best preserved, measures c 16.0m in diameter. Extending N from the entrance in the NNE, is a low wall, probably a windbreak.

'D' is set into a N-S slope, and measures c 15.0m E-W through the entrance in the E, by c 13.0m. A clearance heap lies against the SW wall. It has been excavated and material from it now overlies the wall. 'E', set into the slope, measures c 9.5m in diameter. The entrance is not evident.

'F', set into the slope, measures c 12.0m in diameter, with an entrance in the S, between the excavated and built-up areas of the hut.

'G' measures c 13.0m in diameter. The SE arc is mutilated and the entrance is not evident.

'H' measures c 15.0m in diameter. It is mutilated in the SE, and the entrance is not evident.

'J', set into the slope, measures c 10.0m in diameter. The entrance is not evident. A boulder is set in the S arc.

'K', on a level shelf, measures c 12.5m in diameter. The mutilated entrance is in the SE.

'L' on the same shelf, measures c 10.0m in diameter, with an entrance in the SE flanked on its SW side by a boulder.

'M' is in a hollow and measures c 13.0m E-W by c 11.5m. The entrance is not evident.

The field system is marked by clearance heaps (noted as pairs of cairns by C G Cash 1910), which are occasionally joined by rickles of stones. The average plot measures c 25.0m by c 20.0m.

Huts surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (I S S) 18 April 1973.

C G Cash 1910.

Fieldwork in this area by Dr T C Welsh has revealed a variety of archaeological features.

T C Welsh 1993.

NMRS, MS/737/2.

Scheduled as Balvattan, settlement and field system, Rothiemurchus.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 9 November 2000.

NH 917 090 A programme of archaeological survey works was carried out in February 2005 in respect of the proposed renewal of a pipeline. Some 31 rubble cairns, three roundhouses and occasional short stretches of stone dyke were located. The majority of these are thought to represent a prehistoric landscape; the features located comprise only those components of the Scheduled Ancient Monument (NH90NW 1) that lie in close proximity to the existing water pipeline.

Report to be lodged with Highland SMR.

Sponsor: Jacobs Babtie for Scottish Water Solutions.

T Rees 2005


Desk Based Assessment (22 June 2004)

This chapter considers the likely effects on cultural heritage inerests of the proposed infrastructure improvements to the Strathspey and Badenoch Trunk Main between Upper Tullochgrue and Glen Einich (NH 917 091 - 925 040).

The potential effects of the proposed refurbishment works upon the cultural heritage have been assessed, through a programme of desk-based study, consultations and reconnaissance field survey. 15 archaeological and heritage sites have been identified within the assessment corridor, comprising:

1 Scheduled Ancient Monument containing seven features or groups of features of archaeological interest.

5 other sites and areas of archaeological interest.

1 Listed Building

2 other structures of architectural interest.

Taking into account the recommended mitigation strategy, it is considered that the proposed refurbishment of the Strathspey and Badenoch Trunk Main would not have a significant impact on cultural heritage interests.

Funder: Faber Maunsell

CFA Archaeology Ltd


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