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North Connel, Black Crofts

Field Boundary (Period Unassigned), Pit(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name North Connel, Black Crofts

Classification Field Boundary (Period Unassigned), Pit(S) (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Achnacree Moss

Canmore ID 23285

Site Number NM93SW 9

NGR NM 923 349

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/23285

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Ardchattan And Muckairn (Argyll And Bute)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM93SW 9 923 349.

NM 923 349 The Black Crofts are situated on the SE perimeter of the Moss of Achnacree. Behind two of the crofts, there are the remains of an old field bank which was built on the old land surface beneath the peat and thus ante-dates the formation of the moss. Three trenches were dug by officers of the RCAHM in order to examine this feature which is visible behind Croft No 3 as a low bank, about 1.8 metres wide and 0.3 metres in height. It may be traced from the edge of the moss for a length of 62 metres, beyond which it has been destroyed by recent building.

A short stretch of similar bank, running obliquely to the first, is visible 88 metres WNW behind Croft No 1.

The main bank was 1.5 metres wide and was covered by peat to depth of 1.1 metres. It consisted of a core of earth and stones revetted on either side by granite boulders. The core material had been scooped out of quarry ditches on either side and a deposit of grey silt in the ditches suggested that they later served as drainage channels.

The RCAHM suggest the field bank was constructed in the middle of the second millenium BC.

Further excavations were carried out in 1974 and 1976, during which a third bank was discovered.

A new housing estate has been built in the area partly covering the area of interest. The banks were not located.

Visited by OS (DWR) 28 October 1971.

RCAHMS 1975; J Barrett, P Hill and J B Stevenson 1976.

Brief details of further excavations on field banks.

P Hill 1977; S Halliday 1978.

NM 9228 3499 A 28m long segment of a prehistoric field bank was excavated in advance of house construction. The bank is part of a set of three banks that were mapped and sectioned in the 1970s. Radiocarbon samples taken during these investigations suggested that the bank was constructed in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC.

The present excavation largely confirmed the results of the previous investigations of the bank. Exposing a larger segment of the bank demonstrated its sinuous form and variation in height and width. There were no clear indications of repair or alterations. The bank had steep stone-revetted sides and a slightly curved top which was from 0.6-1.2m wide. The revetment varied in height from one to four courses. The bank was 1.5-1.9m wide at the base and from 0.2-0.6m high. It was built from gravel, the revetments on both sides were built from rounded stones 0.15-0.4m across. There was a ditch on either side of the bank, 1-2m wide and up to 0.3m deep, most likely created when quarrying gravel for the bank. Investigation of the sub-bank ground surface revealed no features pre-dating the construction of the bank.

Full details lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

M Dalland 2001b

NM 923 349 An archaeological evaluation was carried out of roughly 1.25ha of land at Black Crofts, on the N side of Loch Etive, near Oban. The development site lies to the S of the Moss of Achnacree on croft land that was reclaimed from peat during the 19th and early 20th century, some 100m to the SW of a sub-peat 2nd millennium BC bank, investigated in the 1970s and 2001 (DES 2001, 18).

Seven trenches were excavated, totalling an area of 310m2. The trial trenching revealed four small pits, two of which contained modern inclusions. The remaining two pits were filled with stones and are of unknown date and function.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: Blackcrofts Developments.

M Dalland 2002

NM 9235 3490 An archaeological watching brief was undertaken in July 2006 at a site proposed for housing development at Black Croft, North Connel. The site lies in an area of archaeological sensitivity comprising prehistoric landscape features. A number of Bronze Age field banks have been recorded on land adjacent to the site (Carter and Dalland 2005). A previous evaluation on the site (NM93SW 9: DES 2002) recorded a number of isolated, undated pits.

The watching brief recorded the remains of a possible prehistoric field bank, which appears to be roughly aligned with a previously recorded field bank (Bank A, Carter and Dalland 2005). Material from the bank did not produce sufficient quantities of charcoal for dating. A number of small pits similar to those recorded in the evaluation were also excavated. These are believed to have been dug for drainage during 19th-century peat cutting.

Archive and report to be deposited in NMRS. Report lodged with WoSAS.

Sponsor: Paul McFatridge

Elizabeth Jones, 2006.

Activities

Field Visit (28 October 1971)

NM 923 349 The Black Crofts are situated on the SE perimeter of the Moss of Achnacree. Behind two of the crofts, there are the remains of an old field bank which was built on the old land surface beneath the peat and thus ante-dates the formation of the moss. Three trenches were dug by officers of the RCAHM in order to examine this feature which is visible behind Croft No 3 as a low bank, about 1.8 metres wide and 0.3 metres in height. It may be traced from the edge of the moss for a length of 62 metres, beyond which it has been destroyed by recent building.

A short stretch of similar bank, running obliquely to the first, is visible 88 metres WNW behind Croft No 1.

The main bank was 1.5 metres wide and was covered by peat to depth of 1.1 metres. It consisted of a core of earth and stones revetted on either side by granite boulders. The core material had been scooped out of quarry ditches on either side and a deposit of grey silt in the ditches suggested that they later served as drainage channels.

The RCAHM suggest the field bank was constructed in the middle of the second millenium BC.

Further excavations were carried out in 1974 and 1976, during which a third bank was discovered.

A new housing estate has been built in the area partly covering the area of interest. The banks were not located.

Visited by OS (DWR) 28 October 1971.

Excavation (2001)

NM 9228 3499 A 28m long segment of a prehistoric field bank was excavated in advance of house construction. The bank is part of a set of three banks that were mapped and sectioned in the 1970s. Radiocarbon samples taken during these investigations suggested that the bank was constructed in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC.

The present excavation largely confirmed the results of the previous investigations of the bank. Exposing a larger segment of the bank demonstrated its sinuous form and variation in height and width. There were no clear indications of repair or alterations. The bank had steep stone-revetted sides and a slightly curved top which was from 0.6-1.2m wide. The revetment varied in height from one to four courses. The bank was 1.5-1.9m wide at the base and from 0.2-0.6m high. It was built from gravel, the revetments on both sides were built from rounded stones 0.15-0.4m across. There was a ditch on either side of the bank, 1-2m wide and up to 0.3m deep, most likely created when quarrying gravel for the bank. Investigation of the sub-bank ground surface revealed no features pre-dating the construction of the bank.

Full details lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

M Dalland 2001b

Archaeological Evaluation (2002)

NM 923 349 An archaeological evaluation was carried out of roughly 1.25ha of land at Black Crofts, on the N side of Loch Etive, near Oban. The development site lies to the S of the Moss of Achnacree on croft land that was reclaimed from peat during the 19th and early 20th century, some 100m to the SW of a sub-peat 2nd millennium BC bank, investigated in the 1970s and 2001 (DES 2001, 18).

Seven trenches were excavated, totalling an area of 310m2. The trial trenching revealed four small pits, two of which contained modern inclusions. The remaining two pits were filled with stones and are of unknown date and function.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: Blackcrofts Developments.

M Dalland 2002

Watching Brief (July 2006)

NM 9235 3490 An archaeological watching brief was undertaken in July 2006 at a site proposed for housing development at Black Croft, North Connel. The site lies in an area of archaeological sensitivity comprising prehistoric landscape features. A number of Bronze Age field banks have been recorded on land adjacent to the site (Carter and Dalland 2005). A previous evaluation on the site (NM93SW 9: DES 2002) recorded a number of isolated, undated pits.

The watching brief recorded the remains of a possible prehistoric field bank, which appears to be roughly aligned with a previously recorded field bank (Bank A, Carter and Dalland 2005). Material from the bank did not produce sufficient quantities of charcoal for dating. A number of small pits similar to those recorded in the evaluation were also excavated. These are believed to have been dug for drainage during 19th-century peat cutting.

Archive and report to be deposited in NMRS. Report lodged with WoSAS.

Sponsor: Paul McFatridge

Elizabeth Jones, 2006.

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