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Leataidh

Rig And Furrow (Medieval) - (Post Medieval), Township(S) (Post Medieval)

Site Name Leataidh

Classification Rig And Furrow (Medieval) - (Post Medieval), Township(S) (Post Medieval)

Canmore ID 5415

Site Number NC60NE 2

NGR NC 688 054

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/5415

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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Rogart
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes ( - 1980)

NC60NE 2.00 688 054

(Centred NC 688054) Leataidh (NAT)

OS 6"map, (1969)

An area of depopulated settlement in which there are the footings of at least forty buildings, a kiln and associated enclosures.

The buildings range in size from 5m by 3m to 31m by 4.5m.

As a whole the area is named Lettie (Morrison 1853), Leudaichte (ONB 1872) or Leataidh (Roy 1747-55); but Roy breaks it into three separate units, named 'Balno' (NC 690 052), 'Balvraton' (NC 688 054) and 'Balrousker' (NC 685 059).

This area was probably cleared in 1809-1811.

H Morrison 1853; Name Book 1872; W Roy 1747-55; A MacKenzie 1946; Visited by OS (W D J) 5 April 1964.

An area of depopulation as described; the remains of two corn-drying kilns are at NC 6851 0589 and NC 6921 0551. If Leataidh now applies to a general area of old crofting settlement the building ruins are in individual groups according with names on Roy's Map.

Visited by OS (J M) 3 October 1980.

Activities

Field Visit (May 1995 - June 1995)

NC60NE 2.00 688 054

NC60NE 2.01 6859 0597 Leataidh (Balrousker) Township; Corn-drying kilns

NC60NE 2.02 6880 0548 Leataidh (Balvraton) Township; Corn-drying kiln

NC60NE 2.03 6906 0528 Leataidh (Balno) Township

NC60NE 2.04 6915 0554 Leataidh Township; Corn-drying kiln

NC60NE 2.05 6941 0494 Leataidh (Skiryba) Township; Corn-drying kiln

NC60NE 2.06 6962 0467 Leataidh (Achlare) Township; Corn-drying kiln

NC60NE 2.07 6969 0475 Leataidh Cairn

NC60NE 2.08 6960 0463 Leataidh Cairn

NC60NE 2.09 6969 0462 Leataidh Cairn

NC60NE 2.10 6940 0517 Leataidh Hut-circle

NC60NE 2.11 6914 0524 Leataidh Hut-circle

NC60NE 2.12 6910 0537 Leataidh Hut-circle

NC60NE 2.13 6917 0543 Leataidh Hut-circle

NC60NE 2.14 6897 0548 Leataidh Hut-circle

NC60NE 2.15 6833 0604 Leataidh Hut-circle

NC60NE 2.16 6826 0609 Leataidh Hut-circle

NC60NE 2.17 6929 0564 Leataidh Small cairns

NC60NE 2.18 6905 0571 Leataidh Small cairns; Rig; Enclosures

The extensive remains of at least six townships extend across a broad grassy terrace, about 2km in length, above the NE bank of the Abhainn Leataidh. They are enclosed by a series of turf-and-stone head-dykes, which, despite occasional gaps and some duplication of dykes (indicating expansion or contraction of the settlement), appear to form a coherent boundary. This can be followed from the river at NC 6790 0609, running generally E for about 1km, uphill and across the rear of the terrace as far as NC 6890 0602, where it swings SE, continuing for a further 1.5km before disappearing into woodland at NC 6979 0449. Including the steep, wooded slopes above the river, the area thus enclosed amounts to over 100 ha. Within this area eighty-two buildings, outhouses and small huts, seven corn-drying kilns and numerous small enclosures were recorded, set amidst extensive areas of rig cultivation. Sites of earlier periods were also recorded within or just outside the head-dyke, including seven hut-circles (NC60NE 2.10-2.16), three burial cairns (NC60NE 2.07-2.09), and, on the margins of the later settlement, two areas of small cairns, indicative of prehistoric cultivation (NC60NE 2.17-2.18). A group of square cairns, thought to be of early medieval date, one of which is known as Lettie's Grave, is described under NC60NE 1.

Roy (1747-55) names five settlements on this side of the Abhainn Leataidh: Balrousker, Balvraton, Balno, Skiryba and Achlare. Although Roy's maps are often unreliable in detail, it is possible to identify amongst the surviving structures five groups which correspond approximately with the position of Roy's settlements (NC60NE 2.01-2.03, 2.05-2.06). A sixth group (NC60NE 2.04), on the fringes of the moorland at the E edge of the settlement, includes structures which appear to be earlier than those of the other groups, and those remains may represent a phase of expansion onto marginal land abandoned before the other townships.

'Leaddie' is named in the 1690 Hearth Tax returns, and listed as having four tenants with one hearth (Scottish Record Office E69/23/1). By 1833, however, Burnett and Scott's map of the County of Sutherland indicates that the glen had been cleared, and by 1847 the land was part of the Strathfleet sheep farm (annotated copy of Burnett and Scott, held by the National Library of Scotland). The 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Sutherland 1879, sheets xcvi and civ) names the site 'Leudaichte', and depicts most of the head-dyke, at least thirty buildings, all roofless, and several enclosures; the Name Book, however, describes it simply as 'a considerable extent of pastureland'.

Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) May and June 1995

Name Book 1879

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