Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Blackhill, palisaded enclosure 260m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Culloden and Ardersier, Highland

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Latitude: 57.503 / 57°30'10"N

Longitude: -4.1437 / 4°8'37"W

OS Eastings: 271643

OS Northings: 847892

OS Grid: NH716478

Mapcode National: GBR J84W.NNQ

Mapcode Global: WH4GB.BP10

Entry Name: Blackhill, palisaded enclosure 260m SW of

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11428

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: palisaded enclosure

Location: Inverness and Bona

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Culloden and Ardersier

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises the remains of an enclosed settlement of prehistoric date, visible as a cropmark on oblique aerial photographs. It lies in arable farmland, at 10 m above sea level, where it is located approximately 100 m from the present-day shoreline of the Moray Firth.

The cropmark shows a palisaded enclosure, a narrow ditch measuring around 30 m in diameter. A second cropmark measuring about 10 m in diameter and visible in the NE side of the interior may represent a roundhouse.

The area proposed for scheduling is circular on plan, centred on the centre of the palisade enclosure, to include the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found, 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 monument is unexcavated and has considerable potential to enhance understanding of defended settlements in the Inverness area, specifically palisade enclosures. The addition of internal features indicates that archaeological remains of settlement may be preserved; these would further enhance our knowledge of the use and development of these sites.

Contextual characteristics: The monument is a rare example of a prehistoric defended settlement. The site is one of a small number so far identified in Highland. Its characteristics are similar to others found along the coast of the Moray Firth. As a group, these sites could potentially enhance our understanding of prehistoric settlement and economy in the N of Scotland.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular prehistoric settlement and economy. Its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date increases its importance. The loss of, or damage to, the monument would diminish the capacity of the class to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric settlement and landuse in N Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NH74NW 32.

Aerial photographs / AP transcriptions:

RCAHMS, 1996, C72824, Blackhill.

RCAHMS, 1995, C53573, Blackhill.

RCAHMS, 1991, IN3064TR, Blackhill enclosure.

RCAHMS, 1977, IN/3066, Blackhill.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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