Ancient Monuments

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An Bathach, promontory fort 300m ENE of

A Scheduled Monument in Inverness South, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.4294 / 57°25'45"N

Longitude: -4.1199 / 4°7'11"W

OS Eastings: 272812

OS Northings: 839660

OS Grid: NH728396

Mapcode National: GBR J962.MKJ

Mapcode Global: WH4GQ.PJBC

Entry Name: An Bathach, promontory fort 300m ENE of

Scheduled Date: 7 February 2008

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11879

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort)

Location: Daviot and Dunlichity

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Inverness South

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Description

The monument comprises a prehistoric promontory fort lying 300m ENE of the occupied farmstead of An Bathach. It probably dates to the Iron Age (about 2500-1500 years ago). The fort sits on a cliff above the River Nairn, at 155m above sea level, but its northern approach is from gently sloping land.

The natural promontory measures about 60m from N to S by 25m transversely; a stone bank cuts off its neck. This bank stands to a height of 1.5m and measures approximately 4.5m in width. Each end of the stone bank returns to the S for 15m and terminates at the cliff edge. The fort's interior is naturally uneven and there is no visible evidence of additional defences or structures.

Although there are no visible internal features, traces of structures associated with the occupation of the site may still exist. The small size of the promontory would suggest that this housed a single family of farmers. Rivers during the prehistoric period were known communication routes, and as such were an important aspect of the natural and historical landscape. The location of the promontory fort on the bend of the river, with views both W down the river and N up the river, is likely to have had strategic importance.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon on plan, to include the fort and an area around in which evidence for its construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The promontory fort has well-preserved visible upstanding remains of a defensive stone bank that may have once been part of a rampart structure. Therefore the monument has the potential to add to our understanding of the defensive elements of prehistoric promontory forts. The undisturbed nature of the interior of the fort may also mean that there is the potential for archaeological features under the ground that may add to our understanding of the function of this particular monument.

Contextual characteristics: Promontory forts are only one type of prehistoric defence and we know little about the function of these structures, particularly the smaller sites. Therefore this monument has the potential to add to its class of monument, both in the Highland region and throughout Scotland. If destroyed valuable information about this type of monument would be lost. The location of this promontory fort so near to an important natural communication route also has the potential to add to our understanding of why the location of these sites were chosen and how prehistoric people understood and perceived the natural landscape.

National Importance

This monument has the potential to add to our understanding of defensive sites of the later prehistoric period, the construction of these sites and their function. Its loss would diminish our ability to understand the monument's class, the interplay between this particular monument and its location in the landscape, and prehistoric perceptions of the landscape and how that influenced the way they lived.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record this monument as NH73NW 3. It is recorded in the Highland Council SMR as NH73NW0003.

References:

Cameron D 1882, 'Notice of the Ancient Circular Dwellings, Hill Forts, and Burial Cairns of Strathnairn', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 16, 292.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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