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John O'groats House Hotel

Burial(S) (Period Unassigned), Settlement (Period Unassigned)

Site Name John O'groats House Hotel

Classification Burial(S) (Period Unassigned), Settlement (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 80367

Site Number ND37SE 37

NGR ND 379 733

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Canisbay
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND37SE 37 379 733

Emergency excavations revealed a prehistoric settlement substantially disturbed by two separate episodes of burial. Radiocarbon evidence suggests that burials began in the 11th-12th century and subsequently in the 16th-17th century.

S T Driscoll 1993.

GUARD was commissioned to undertake an archaeological evaluation of the area immediately surrounding the John O' Groats Hotel prior to a proposed extension scheme.

Geophysical survey was followed by trial trenching. This involved surveying the area with electrical resistivity and a fluxgate gradiometer. The results were treated in the field with the convendonal dot-density package GEOPLOT. A number of anomalies were detected, and the ensuing test-pitting programme set out to investigate these. The test-pits were also located on the S side of the proposed development area to see whether archaeological features seen in the development of the HIDB industrial unit extended this far N (S T Driscoll 1993).

The anomalies investigated proved to be non-archaeological, being either artificial (i e pipes), or geologically derived. The backgarden area appears to have been landscaped, probably at the time of the building of the Hotel.

Pit 2 contained some large unshaped stones and boulders, but no finds or evidence of structures was found. The geophysical data also produced no evidence for a stone built structure. This pit was the nearest to the hotel, and the large stones may be associated with clearance work during the construction of the hotel.

There are no apparent archaeological structures within the area of the proposed extension scheme of the John O' Groats Hotel.

H James 1994; NMRS, MSS 725/48 and 725/94.

An archaeological evaluation of the area immediately surrounding the hotel was carried out by Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division ahead of a proposed scheme of extension. The evaluation consisted of resistivity and geomagnetic surveys, followed by trial trenching.

Although geophysical anomalies were detected, these proved to be caused by modern pipes. A stone feature examined during the trial excavations was interpreted as probably associated with clearance work during the construction of the hotel.

The assessment concluded that there were no apparent archaeological structures within the area of the proposed scheme.

NMRS, MS/725/48, GUARD 27 (1994)

ND 379 733 A watching brief, ahead of the laying of a sewage pipe, was conducted in May 1995 at John O'Groats Hotel, either side of the area assessed by GUARD in 1994 (James 1994). No archaeologically significant features were identified, though a number of artefacts were recovered from the topsoil, including several pieces of worked flint, two pieces of animal bone and a single sherd of pottery, probably of 14th century date.

Sponsor: Highland Regional Council Water and Sewerage Dept.

K Taylor 1995.

ND 379 733 In September 1998 an archaeological evaluation was undertaken prior to the construction of a proposed extension. No features of archaeological significance were identified.

Sponsor: Andrew Downie and Partners.

P Duffy 1998.


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