ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological Innvestigation

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ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological Innvestigationby Donald Adamson and Warren Bailiewith contributions by Kevin Grant, Nick Lindsay and by Donal Bateson,Natasha Ferguson, Dennis Gallacher, Robin Murdoch, Susan Ramsay,Catherine Smith and Bob WillArchaeology Reports Online, 52 Elderpark Workspace, 100 Elderpark Street, Glasgow, G51 3TR0141 445 8800 info@guard-archaeology.co.uk www.archaeologyreportsonline.com

ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological InnvestigationPublished by GUARD Archaeology Ltd, www.archaeologyreportsonline.comEditor Beverley Ballin SmithDesign and desktop publishing Gillian SneddonProduced by GUARD Archaeology Ltd 2019.ISBN:978-1-9164509-7-4ISSN:2052-4064Requests for permission to reproduce material from an ARO report should be sent to the Editor ofARO, as well as to the author, illustrator, photographer or other copyright holder. Copyright in any ofthe ARO Reports series rests with GUARD Archaeology Ltd and the individual authors.The maps are reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of HerMajesty’s Stationery Office. All rights reserved. GUARD Archaeology Licence number 100050699.The consent does not extend to copying for general distribution, advertising or promotional purposes,the creation of new collective works or resale.

ContentsIntroduction Site location and description Archaeological and historical background The excavation The Inn Outbuilding adjacent to the inn Outbuilding on wall of stance The 'Gilchrist' building Metal detecting survey Specialists' reports Archaeobotany - Susan Ramsay Bones and shell - Catherine Smith Pottery - Bob Will Clay pipes - Dennis Gallacher Glass - Robin Murdoch Coins - Donal Bateson Metal - Natasha Ferguson Discussion Conclusion Acknowledgements Bibliography Appendices Appendix 1: Total number of animal bone fragments - Wilkhouse and Gilchrist trenchesAppendix 2: Total numbers of mollusc shells and crustacea - Wilkhouse and Gilchrist trenchesAppendix 3: Pottery fabric types Appendix 4: Catalogue of glass finds at Wilkhouse and Gilchrist Appendix 5: Window glass matrix Appendix 6: Metalwork finds from the excavation and metal detecting survey 738List of FiguresFigure 1: Site location maps showing i) Brora in relation to Scotland, ii) Wilkhouse in relation to Brora, iii) The plan of buildings on the site from the plane table surveyFigure 2: Wilkhouse as shown on the Roy Military Survey 1747 – 1755 Figure 3: Wilkhouse as represented by the John Kirk survey 1772 Figure 4: Trench locations across Wilkhouse, the north-east Building and Gilchrist. Figure 5: Trench 12 showing the north-west wall 140 of Wilkhouse outbuilding and flooring 153 Figure 6: Trench 17 section showing layers encountered Figure 7: Plan of Gilchrist showing detail for trenches 4, 5 and 6 Figure 8: Elevation of entrance into Gilchrist building Figure 9: Trench 5 elevation showing long wall 002 and wall 044 of offshoot room 18 Figure 10: Metal detecting survey, distribution of artefacts by type Figure 11: Drovers arriving at Wilkhouse in the eighteenth century (artist's impression) 5781114151615171828List of PlatesPlate 1: Gilchrist Building in centre foreground, the remains of Wilkhouse Inn to the top left Plate 2: Part of extant outer enclosure wall around Wilkhouse Plate 3: Wilkhouse from south-west gable Plate 4: Trench 1 after rubble removal 671012

List of Plates (continued)Plate 5: Trench 2 fireplaces (142 and 105) Plate 6: Trench 2 external view of earlier walls at gable Plate 7: Trench 3 fireplace Plate 8: Trench 18 with mortar render on the north-west wall (123) Plate 9: Wilkhouse outbuilding showing flat angular cobbles against south-east gable (124) Plate 10: Trench 17 section Plate 11: Trench 4 entrance to the Gilchrist building Plate 12: Trench 5, wall (004) (right) abutting the main wall (002) Plate 13: Trench 7 with loose stone remains of the enclosure wall Plate 14: Top row - SF 68 folded over coin or token, copper alloy pins SF 173, 174 and 194, eighteenth century Georgian coin; middle row - two eighteenth century Georgiancoins and SF 81 trade token from Parys Mine Company, Anglesey; bottom row - SF 41copper alloy oval riveted fitting, SF 196 fragment of bone comb, SF 090 SutherlandFencibles pewter button, and SF 059 Sutherland Fencibles copper alloy button12131313141415171726

ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological InnvestigationSite locationBroraInvernessAberdeenMoray GilchristN293050/908050Moray Firth0250 mReproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller ofHer Majesty's Stationery Office. All rights reserved. Licence number 100050699.Figure 1: Site location maps showing i) Brora in relation to Scotland, ii) Wilkhouse in relation to Brora, iii) The plan ofbuildings on the site from the plane table survey Archaeology Reports Online, 2019. All rights reserved.5

ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological InnvestigationIntroductionAn archaeological excavation was undertakenunder the direction of Warren Bailie, GUARDArchaeology Limited at Wilkhouse between 22May and 2 June 2017 (Figure 1). He was assisted indirecting the excavation by Dr Kevin Grant and DrNick Lindsay, Chairman of Clyne Heritage Society.The work was conducted on behalf of Dr DonaldAdamson who had completed a study on drovingroutes in the Scottish Highlands (Adamson 2014).The excavation involved collaboration betweenClyne Heritage Society, the University of Glasgowand GUARD Archaeology, and provided trainingfor early career archaeologists and also volunteeropportunities for members of the local and widercommunity.Initially, in October 2016, Wilkhouse was recordedusing a plane table survey by members of ClyneHeritage Society, assisted by Warren Bailie andDonald Adamson, with digitistion by Kevin Grant.Nick Lindsay had drawn Donald Adamson’sattention to Wilkhouse in 2009 as potentiallybeing related to a droving route.All phases of work were funded by DonaldAdamson who gratefully acknowledges a grantof 250 from Brora Community Council towardsthe cost of post-excavation analysis of finds. Kindpermission for the excavation was granted byJohn Billett of Kintradwell Estate who was mostsupportive of the project.Site location and descriptionWilkhouse is located at NGR: NC 93049 08126and lies between the A9 road and the coast,approximately 5 km north of the centre of Brora,Sutherland. The site lies on a raised beach andis only 50 m above the current day high watermark. Between the site and the old cliff line isthe main Inverness to Caithness railway, and theThomas Telford-designed road, now the A9 trunkroad, lies further up the sloping hillside, abovethe old cliff line.In total, the site has the remains of four separatebuildings, plus the enclosure of what is believedto have been a cattle stance. Facing the beachis the inn building itself. To the north of the inn,and appended to the wall of the enclosure liesa possible out-building. A further small buildingis positioned adjacent to and immediately west(inland) of the Inn. A fourth building lies 50 msouth and west of these. To the north of thisbuilding is a small pool and associated bank.The settlement is situated in the parish of Lothand on the Kintradwell Estate.Plate 1: Gilchrist Building in centre foreground, the remains of Wilkhouse Inn to the top left. (Photo: Nick Lindsay 27/12/05taken from the raised beach)6 Archaeology Reports Online, 2019. All rights reserved.

ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological InnvestigationArchaeological and historical backgroundWilkhouse is part of the Kintradwell Estate.Kintradwell is well represented in the NationalRecord of the Historic Environment of Scotland(Canmore) with a substantial Iron Age broch,numerous Pictish symbol stones, cists, a medievalchapel and a largely rebuilt laird’s house, whichwas burned down by the Earl of Cromarty in theJacobite rising of 1745-1746. Wilkhouse appearson the Roy Military Survey of Scotland 17471755. This somewhat imprecise drawing showsWilkhouse and a neighbouring building withinwhat might be the rectangular cattle stance(Figure 2), and with the roadway passing to thewest of the building, and immediately belowthe old cliff line, on the line of the modern dayrailway. Two other buildings are depicted, oneto the north-west of Wilkhouse on the edge ofthe cattle stance, the other perpendicular toWilkhouse on the shore side and most easterlycorner of the cattle stance.The next cartographic representation ofWilkhouse is from 1772 when John Kirk surveyedparts of the parishes of Golspie and Loth onbehalf of the Sutherland Estate. Wilkhouse isrepresented as one of the more substantialbuildings of the parish not merely as a blackrectangle but by a pictogram drawing of thebuilding (Figure 3). It has a chimney stack ateither end of the building with a door facing thesea and with windows on either side and a door/window in the north gable. The building appearsproportional and has a ridged roof line. Thereis a more humble building to its northern side,represented more normally as a black rectangle,and it sits in a rectangular space, and a large pondis depicted to its west. The roadway is at this timeis shown along the line of the beach and to theeast of the buildings.Plate 2: Part of extant outer enclosure wall aroundWilkhouseKintradwell, including Wilkhouse, had long beenpart of the Sutherland Estate, but in 1743 Williamseventeenth Earl of Sutherland granted a wadsetover the Kintradwell Estate to Hugh Gordon ofCarrol, Sheriff of Sutherland. A wadset is a Scotslegal term for a loan backed by the assignationof land. In other words, Hugh Gordon advancedmonies to the Earl of Sutherland in return fora lease on the Kintradwell Estate. The originalwadset was extended in 1761 until 1818. It isFigure 2: Wilkhouse as shown on the Roy Military Survey 1747 – 1755, British Library Board Archaeology Reports Online, 2019. All rights reserved.7

ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological Innvestigationnoted that this 75-year term was a breach ofthe 1705 entail which limited wadsets on theSutherland lands to 19 years and was deemed tobe “a mark of exceptional favour” towards HughGordon. Hugh Gordon was succeeded by his sonJohn Gordon of Carrol who in turn died in 1807. Hewas then succeeded by his son, Joseph Gordon ofCarrol who was an advocate in Edinburgh (Adam1972, Vol. 1, xxiv – xxv). Professor R.J. Adam thenfurther relates that the enmity between JosephGordon and the Sutherland estate arose fromdisputes over the price for the sale of the mainCarrol estate by Joseph Gordon to the Countessof Sutherland in 1812. In terms of Kintradwell,Adam states that Joseph Gordon in 1809 firstattempted to get the wadset further extended,and then in 1810 tried to get the SutherlandEstate to buy out the wadset immediately. TheFactor, William Young, however consideredthe price to be excessive. Joseph Gordon thencountered by leasing Kintradwell to anothertacksman, Macpherson, at a return well abovewhat the Sutherland agents were prepared topay (Adam 1972, Vol. 1, xxv).The wadset expired in 1818 and the loan wasrepaid to Joseph Gordon by the SutherlandEstate. In 1819, Kintradwell, including Wilkhouse,was cleared and the people were dispersed inall directions, with some to Brora, but manyelsewhere. A few remained at Kintradwell (emailof 1 December 2016 from Dr Malcolm BangorJones to Donald Adamson).In 1820, James Loch published ‘Improvementson the Sutherland Estate’. This lists the ‘services’to be performed by the tenants of Kintradwell,including Wilkhouse, now an inn, as an illustrationof the abuses of sub-tenancy by a tacksman. Itreflects the Sutherland agents’ frustration atbeing unable to influence an Improving Policy onKintradwell prior to the end of the wadset.At the same time, the road system, which was vitalto the success of any inn, was rapidly changing.In 1812, the Dornoch Firth was bridged at BonarBridge, whilst by 1818, the crossing of the RiverFleet, south of Golspie, via a 1,000-yard earthenmound with flood-gates was complete (Haldane1973, 131). The Commissioners of Highland Roadsand Bridges were, at the same time, extending anew road all the way from Inverness to Thursounder the direction of Thomas Telford, and by1819 it was in operation (Haldane 1973, 188).This enabled a mail coach to leave Invernessat 6 a.m. and arrive at Thurso at noon on thefollowing day. In order to achieve this, Telford realigned the road at Kintradwell. It now ran (as itstill does) about 400 m above the raised beach,on which Wilkhouse is situated. The roadwayFigure 3: Wilkhouse as represented by the John Kirk survey 1772 Reproduced with the permission of the National Libraryof Scotland.8 Archaeology Reports Online, 2019. All rights reserved.

ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological Innvestigationshown in the Kirk map of 1772 was abandoned.Telford himself touched upon this in 1828 whenhe noted that “in surveying for the future Roads,it was with difficulty and not without danger thatI could scramble along a rugged, broken, sandyshore ” (Haldane 1973, 189). Not only this, butthe Sutherland Estate established inns on the newroad at Golspie, Brora and Helmsdale (Haldane1973, 189-190). Wilkhouse had not only been bypassed; it had been made redundant.The Papers of the Sutherland Estate held in theNational Library of Scotland, at Deposition 313,contain extracts from the Kintradwell paperswhich were used by James Loch in the 1820volume ‘Improvements on the Sutherland Estate’.Some of these touch on life at Wilkhouse asrevealed by original research carried out by NickLindsay and add further flavour. In 1796-1797,Alexander Gair, a wright, did joinery work for JohnGordon of Carrol at Kintradwell. As part of thebill, the roof of the Inn at Wilkhouse was repairedfor 3 2s (Dep 313 – 3517). The estate accountsfor 1800 list 144 tenants for the Gordon of Carrolholdings, but only one, a Robert Gordon, is givenas li

ARO37: Wilkhouse: An Archaeological Innvestigation . noted that this 75-year term was a breach of the 1705 entail which limited wadsets on the . Sutherland lands to 19 years and was deemed to be “a mark of exceptional favour” towards Hugh Gordon. Hugh Gordon was succeeded by his son John Gordon of Carrol who in turn died in 1807. He was then succeeded by his son, Joseph Gordon of Carrol .

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