Scheduled Monument

Shenval, settlementSM11434

Status: Designated

Documents

Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (https://portal.historicenvironment.scot/termsandconditions).

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.

Summary

Date Added
29/08/2006
Type
Secular: settlement, including deserted and depopulated and townships
Local Authority
Highland
Parish
Daviot And Dunlichity
NGR
NH 65353 29028
Coordinates
265353, 829028

Description

The monument consists of the upstanding remains and footings of a large farmstead or small township, between 300 and 100 years old, sitting on a shoulder of ground on the upper S facing slopes of a wide valley. The ruins of at least seven buildings and a kiln are visible, along with a number of enclosures and field walls.

The settlement is depicted on the 1st edition 6 inch OS map (Inverness-shire 1874, sheet xxxi), which shows five buildings, three of them roofed and two roofless. By this time the kiln was evidently no longer in use, as it is described as an 'Old Limekiln'. The OS Name Book describes 'a small farmhouse with suitable offices attached, the whole thatched and in bad repair' (ONB 1871). By the time of the 2nd edition map (Inverness-shire 1905, sheet xxxi) only one building retained its roof.

The roofed buildings on the 1st edition can be identified with the three most substantial structures now visible, the walls of which stand relatively high and range from 0.7m to 0.8m in thickness, enclosing spaces between 12.4m to 17m long by 3.5 to 3.9m wide. In one of these buildings, which is shown as still being roofed in 1905, there are a number of cruck-slots, a lum fireplace, windows and a bedneuk. The adjacent, well-preserved structure has a central drain running out through one end, pointing to its use as a byre.

The two buildings depicted as unroofed on the 1st edition can also be identified with remains on the ground. These are smaller buildings, measuring 9.2m in length by 2.6m in breadth and 8.8m in length by 3m in breadth, both within faced rubble walls measuring up to 0.8m in thickness. One of these may have had a central drain, and therefore may have served as a byre.

The kiln is well preserved, with a bowl measuring 3m in diameter within a faced rubble wall standing up to 1.3m in height, the robbed remains of a barn are attached on the N side. Two or three other buildings survive as stony banks and wall footings.

A number of associated enclosures and dyke footings remain nearby, which would have been erected to control the movement of animal stock and allow for the cultivation of vegetables.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon bounded to the W by a stream, to include the buildings, kiln, enclosures, some of the field dykes and associated archaeological deposits, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The fences and stream are not to be included in the schedule.

Statement of National Importance

The monument's archaeological significance is as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a nineteenth-century farming complex, retaining a large collection of the building types necessary for that farm to undertake its agricultural business: larger-scale housing for the main tenant/owner, smaller-scale housing for workers/sub-tenants, byres and enclosures for stock, barns for housing equipment, tools and produce, and a kiln to enable field improvement. The main house and adjacent byre retain a number of architectural features, which may provide additional ground for future archaeological investigation and understanding of these types of features. There is a strong likelihood of the preservation of sub-surface archaeological deposits associated with the later, visible phase of the site's occupation, as well as the high potential for those of earlier phases of settlement: the settlement's name, G. Sean Bhaile, literally 'Old Town', indicates a settlement here of some longevity.

Contextual characteristics: There are few abandoned examples of such well-preserved township/farmsteads in Inverness-shire, which retain all the functionary buildings of a small township/large farmstead along with a number of fine vernacular architectural details. This monument represents a rare chance to study and understand this period of settlement from the perspective of standing buildings archaeology, and an opportunity for the undertaking of future research into understanding how these details might be viewed archaeologically in other excavations. Comparisons of local vernacular architectural features in this region with elsewhere in the Highlands and the rest of Scotland also has the potential to inform our understanding of the development and expression of regional identity over the last few centuries.

National Importance:

The monument is of national importance because it is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a nineteenth- and early twentieth-century farmstead/township, with a wide corpus of functionary building components and architectural details. It has the potential to inform future research into the development of nineteenth-century settlement patterns and building forms, including study of the nature of the communities that inhabited them, the agriculture they practised, the environment they inhabited and the interactions they had with the rest of world. Its loss would severely impede our future ability to understand these issues and detract from the corpus of preserved vernacular architectural features in this region.

References

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NH62NE 17.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

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Printed: 03/12/2022 10:03