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Killimster

Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Cinerary Urn, Unidentified Flint(S) (Flint)

Site Name Killimster

Classification Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Cinerary Urn, Unidentified Flint(S) (Flint)

Alternative Name(s) Skitten

Canmore ID 9132

Site Number ND35NW 6

NGR ND 3147 5729

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/9132

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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND35NW 6 3147 5929.

(ND 3147 5729) Earthwork (NR) (remains of)

OS 1:10 000 map (1975)

This oval enclosure has measured about 230' in greatest diameter NW-SE, surrounded by a ditch, still distinct on the uncultivated segment, and by a low rampart of yellow clay mixed with small stones which is now almost ploughed out, except for a segment, c. 170' x 55' on the SE, varying in width from 15'8" - 23'4". Within it, there were at least three fire sites or hearths. A piece of Bronze Age cinerary urn, 4 1/2" x 4 1/4", with three fragments of flint and a tiny piece of burnt bone were found lying on the fire-marked clay surface of one of the hearths. One hearth is still intact, but undefined; near it was found a pit 2'8" deep, paved with two flag stones set lengthwise, with smaller stones, measuring 1'3" x 1'11" and 1'5" x 1'4". Finds noted over the years include an apparently inexhaustible supply of worked and unworked flints but the quality of the artifacts is poor and are mostly scrapers; a notable exception are two arrow heads, one leaf-shaped, of chert, and the other diamond-shaped with material unstated.

L Duff-Dunbar 1935; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910

The remains of this earthwork are as described, only the SE segment remaining. The rampart is now reduced to a low spread mound 0.4m maximum height, except on the S where its scarp is 0.6m high. There is no trace of a ditch. A break through the rampart in the SE has probably been the entrance.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (EGC) 25 April 1963

Though this enclosure has been almost obliterated, it appears to have been similar to one in Sleepieshill Wood (NJ26SE 29) in both form and situation.

Visited by OS (AA) 20 March 1972

No change to the previous field reports. In Wick Museum is a collection of 83 'struck flints' of unknown period, found at ND 313 570 and donated by Duff-Dunbar in 1928-33 (Acc Nos: ARC 583-665, 670). Though the Wick Museum grid reference is about 250 m S of the enclosure, it is nevertheless probable that these flints came from the enclosure, though the two arrowheads noted by Duff-Dunbar cannot be located.

Visited by OS (NKB) 2 September 1982

Activities

Field Visit (11 June 1910)

529. Fortified Enclosure, Kilmster.

Situated immediately to the E of the most north-westerly of the Kilmster crofts, at the edge of a cultivated field, are the remains of a defensive construction. A slight elevation rising from the moorland has been encircled with a single rampart of earth and stone, having a ditch outside it. The enclosure is oval, measuring interiorly some 230' from SE to NW by about 200' from NE to SW. The rampart, which is now of a low elevation, measures some 18' in breadth at base, while the ditch is about 12' wide and at present some 3' deep below the top of the rampart. A break through the circumvallation towards the SE has probably been the entrance. The greater part of the area is under cultivation, but a small portion in the SE is still on the moorland. Many worked flints and chips of the same material have been found on the site.

OS Map Caithness xxix (Unnoted)

Visited by RCAHMS 11 June 1910

Field Visit (20 October 1955)

This structure lies on a low eminence close to the side of highway B 876 five miles NW of Wick at a height of 70 feet O. D. Most if not all of it has been under cultivation and the remains are very slight, but it may be estimated that originally it was oval on plan measuring about 230 feet from NW to SE by about 200 feet transversely within an earthen rampart with an external ditch. The remains of the rampart are best preserved in the SE sector where they measure about 20 feet in width and stand to a maximum height of one foot from the interior and three feet from the bottom of the ditch. The latter appears as a shallow depression about 15 feet in width. The entrance was probably in the SE. Hearths, charcoal and burnt bones have been found in and close to the fort and fragments of a Cinerary Urn and another pottery vessel have been recorded in addition to great numbers of worked and unworked flints (Proc Soc Ant Scot lxix (1934/5), 108-117). It is probable that these, as others in the vicinity (Ibid 112), represent the remains of an earlier occupation and that the fort was built at a considerably later date.

ND 315 574.

OS Map xix (Unnoted)

Visited by RCAHMS 20th October 1955

Field Visit (25 April 1963)

The remains of this earthwork are as described, only the SE segment remaining. The rampart is now reduced to a low spread mound 0.4m maximum height, except on the S where its scarp is 0.6m high. There is no trace of a ditch. A break through the rampart in the SE has probably been the entrance.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (EGC) 25 April 1963

Field Visit (20 March 1972)

Though this enclosure has been almost obliterated, it appears to have been similar to one in Sleepieshill Wood (NJ26SE 29) in both form and situation.

Visited by OS (AA) 20 March 1972

Desk Based Assessment (24 November 1975)

(ND 3147 5729) Earthwork (NR) (remains of)

OS 1:10 000 map (1975)

This oval enclosure has measured about 230' in greatest diameter NW-SE, surrounded by a ditch, still distinct on the uncultivated segment, and by a low rampart of yellow clay mixed with small stones which is now almost ploughed out, except for a segment, c. 170' x 55' on the SE, varying in width from 15'8" - 23'4". Within it, there were at least three fire sites or hearths. A piece of Bronze Age cinerary urn, 4 1/2" x 4 1/4", with three fragments of flint and a tiny piece of burnt bone were found lying on the fire-marked clay surface of one of the hearths. One hearth is still intact, but undefined; near it was found a pit 2'8" deep, paved with two flag stones set lengthwise, with smaller stones, measuring 1'3" x 1'11" and 1'5" x 1'4". Finds noted over the years include an apparently inexhaustible supply of worked and unworked flints but the quality of the artifacts is poor and are mostly scrapers; a notable exception are two arrow heads, one leaf-shaped, of chert, and the other diamond-shaped with material unstated.

L Duff-Dunbar 1935; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910

Field Visit (2 September 1982)

No change to the previous field reports. In Wick Museum is a collection of 83 'struck flints' of unknown period, found at ND 313 570 and donated by Duff-Dunbar in 1928-33 (Acc Nos: ARC 583-665, 670). Though the Wick Museum grid reference is about 250 m S of the enclosure, it is nevertheless probable that these flints came from the enclosure, though the two arrowheads noted by Duff-Dunbar cannot be located.

Visited by OS (NKB) 2 September 1982

References

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