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Easter Rattich, depopulated settlement 575m SSW of Ruallan

A Scheduled Monument in Nairn and Cawdor, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.482 / 57°28'55"N

Longitude: -3.966 / 3°57'57"W

OS Eastings: 282224

OS Northings: 845230

OS Grid: NH822452

Mapcode National: GBR J8LY.D1L

Mapcode Global: WH4GM.16QL

Entry Name: Easter Rattich, depopulated settlement 575m SSW of Ruallan

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11876

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: settlement, including deserted, depopulated and townships

Location: Cawdor

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Nairn and Cawdor

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Description

The monument comprises a small, single-dwelling farmstead with associated structures and a revetted enclosure, possibly for animals, visible as upstanding remains. It lies in moorland, between two burns, 575m SSW of the occupied farmstead of Ruallan, at approximately 235m above sea level.

The visible remains comprise two structures with associated artificial platforms and enclosures. The first structure to the NE, orientated NE to SW, consists of a main building with two annexes. The main element of the structure is 20m long and approximately 4.5m in width. It has two alcoves, or bedneuks, that measure three square metres. The walls are 0.8m high and approximately 0.75m in width. They were constructed using drystone techniques: large rounded cobbles make the face with smaller stones used for the core. There is a gap in the wall to the N of the eastern bedneuk, which measures 0.7m. This may be a possible entrance or evidence of robbing. The main dwelling structure has two annexes tacked on to the NW of the structure. The first measures 7.5m by 4.5m, narrowing to 4m, and the second, which attaches to the first annexe, measures 3m by 2.5m.

The second structure lies 12.5m to the SW of the first. It measures 10.3m by 4m and is orientated NW to SE. It is a single rectangular building, partially built into the slope. A platform abuts the SW wall of the structure and is 0.5m in height with a more coarsely constructed platform to the NW. A small enclosure is revetted into the slope to the SW, the wall measuring up to 1m in height. Stone clearance dumps lie within the enclosure, probably deposited after the enclosure and dwelling fell out of use.

The monument is a small rural settlement that typifies the colonisation of the marginal farmland in the early 19th century due to population growth. The Ordnance Survey First Edition map dating to 1871-5 show it as already unroofed by this time. It is therefore likely to date to the early 19th century and there is some suggestion that people still lived there during the 1841 census.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular on plan and includes the remains described and an area around, in which traces of associated activity may be expected to 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: This is a well-preserved later rural settlement with associated enclosures and platforms. It includes certain different architectural elements that add to our understanding of rural settlement and rural building construction in the early 19th century. The monument also has the archaeological potential to add to our understanding of farming and general living conditions in the post-medieval period prior to the Clearances in the Highland region.

Contextual characteristics: This monument is representative of the way the rural population lived and worked in the early 19th century in areas of marginal farmland. It is part of a complex settlement pattern associated with historical influences such as tenure and population growth and has the potential to allow us to add to our understanding of the differing types of settlement pattern throughout upland, lowland and marginal areas. It also has the potential to add to our understanding of how people in the 19th century worked within the limitations of the landscape and how they adapted to accommodate those limitations.

Associative characteristics: This monument exemplifies a type of settlement associated with population growth in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as people moved out from over-exploited traditional farmland. However, changes in the political climate and events in the second half of the 19th century, such as the Highland Clearances and the Industrial Revolution, caused major population movement. This meant that many of these types of dwellings became unoccupied very soon afterwards. This type of monument signifies a site with a short developmental sequence historically and archaeologically, which adds to its significance for providing information about a specific historical period.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular our understanding of later rural settlement in the Highlands and the rest of Scotland. The retention of structural and architectural elements to a marked degree also allows us to understand how these settlements were constructed and how people lived in 19th-century rural Scotland. The loss of this example would impede our future ability to understand the history of that period and how rural communities exploited the landscape in the post-medieval period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record this monument as NH84NW 43. It is recorded in the Highland Council SMR as NH84NW0025.

References:

RCAHMS 1978, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF NAIRN DISTRICT, HIGHLAND REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series No. 5, 21, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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