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Poltalloch

No Class (Event)

Site Name Poltalloch

Classification No Class (Event)

Canmore ID 72665

Site Number NR89NW 102

NGR NR 818 968

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/72665

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmichael Glassary
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR89NW 102 818 968.

In response to a request by Strathclyde Region's Department of Physical Planning, GUARD was contracted by the Argyll Water Board late in August 1992 to carry out a watching brief during the excavation of a pipe trench for a water mains in the Kilmartin valley.

The stretch to be watched (NR 8189 9702 to NR 8166 9650) was isolated in the brief by the Strathclyde Regional archaeologist Dr C Swanson and lay within the Poltalloch estate, following the western edge of the road leading from the North Lodge of Poltalloch southwards towards St Columba's chapel, at the point where the trench ran across a raised beach. The trench itself was dug by machine, 0.4m wide by 1.0m deep, and ran a complicated course across the valley floor servicing a small group of widely scattered houses.

The impetus for the watching brief was the knowledge that the Kilmartin valley possesses one of the richest concentrations of multi-period archaeology in Scotland. Added to this, raised beaches have been preferred areas of human acitivy in both historic and pre-historic times. This stretch was targeted for watching because the pipeline posed the most significant threat to the archaeological record as it crossed the raised beach.

The watching brief took place for five days between the 26th and the 31st of August. Unfortunately by the time GUARD was notified the first 200 or so metres of the stretch had been completed. The contractors (STORIE, Dunoon) were however most amenable in adapting to the archaeological requirements thereafter.

The construction of the trench disturbed three archaeological features all of which were noted in the section and recorded with measured sketches and photographs. Feature 1 comprised a small ditch 32cm wide by 26cm deep running NW to SE through the trench at a point 227.2m from point A. It proved to be archaeologically the most interesting as it was buried deeper than the other two, sealed beneath the turf line and an underlying layer of orange brown silty sand some 12cm thick. The fill was composed of coarse gravel mixed with a high proportion of yellow clay.

Features 2 and 3 were entirely filled with plough soil and therefore more recent in date. Feature 2 represented a truncated pit or ditch end, which was evident only in the western section of the trench, was discovered at a point 292.7m from A. Feature 3 was a fairly shallow, broad ditch running E to W, containing flecks of charcoal and a few close packed stones at its bottom. It was found to be 307.9m from point A. This feature seemed too wide to have served a simple drainage function and the stones were not evident in the eastern section. There were no finds of any antiquity.

Sponsor: Argyll Water Board.

P Robins 1992.

Activities

Watching Brief (26 August 1992 - 31 August 1992)

In response to a request by Strathclyde Region's Department of Physical Planning, GUARD was contracted by the Argyll Water Board late in August 1992 to carry out a watching brief during the excavation of a pipe trench for a water mains in the Kilmartin valley. The stretch to be watched (NR 8189 9702 to NR 8166 9650) was isolated in the brief by the Strathclyde Regional archaeologist Dr C Swanson and lay within the Poltalloch estate, following the western edge of the road leading from the North Lodge of Poltalloch southwards towards St Columba's chapel, at the point where the trench ran across a raised beach. The trench itself was dug by machine, 0.4m wide by 1.0m deep, and ran a complicated course across the valley floor servicing a small group of widely scattered houses.

The impetus for the watching brief was the knowledge that the Kilmartin valley possesses one of the richest concentrations of multi-period archaeology in Scotland. Added to this, raised beaches have been preferred areas of human acitivy in both historic and pre-historic times. This stretch was targeted for watching because the pipeline posed the most significant threat to the archaeological record as it crossed the raised beach.

The watching brief took place for five days between the 26th and the 31st of August. Unfortunately by the time GUARD was notified the first 200 or so metres of the stretch had been completed. The contractors (STORIE, Dunoon) were however most amenable in adapting to the archaeological requirements thereafter.

The construction of the trench disturbed three archaeological features all of which were noted in the section and recorded with measured sketches and photographs. Feature 1 comprised a small ditch 32cm wide by 26cm deep running NW to SE through the trench at a point 227.2m from point A. It proved to be archaeologically the most interesting as it was buried deeper than the other two, sealed beneath the turf line and an underlying layer of orange brown silty sand some 12cm thick. The fill was composed of coarse gravel mixed with a high proportion of yellow clay.

Features 2 and 3 were entirely filled with plough soil and therefore more recent in date. Feature 2 represented a truncated pit or ditch end, which was evident only in the western section of the trench, was discovered at a point 292.7m from A. Feature 3 was a fairly shallow, broad ditch running E to W, containing flecks of charcoal and a few close packed stones at its bottom. It was found to be 307.9m from point A. This feature seemed too wide to have served a simple drainage function and the stones were not evident in the eastern section. There were no finds of any antiquity.

Sponsor: Argyll Water Board.

P Robins 1992.

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