The monument comprises two pre-Improvement townships and the remnants of associated field systems which link them together, situated on a gently sloping hillside 760m NNE of Tullich farm. The monument lies in open south-facing rough grazing land at around 330m above sea level, with an adjoining conifer plantation to the north truncating the land surrounding the settlements.
The Ordnance Survey (OS) First Edition map depicts both townships and about 10ha of cleared ground around the two sites. It show Tullich, the township to the NW, three roofed buildings and two unroofed, whereas by the time of the OS Second Edition in 1905 all five buildings are shown as roofless. The Name Book (1871) describes Tullich as having 'one storey, thatched roofs, and being in ordinary repair'. The OS show Garoline, the SE township, as three roofed buildings and one unroofed on their First Edition, with all four buildings being unroofed by the time of the Second Edition. The Name Book describes Garoline as 'a small crofters house, one storey, thatched, and in bad repair'.
Tullich, comprises the remains of five rectangular buildings in an apparently random layout, suggesting an informal development of the settlement. The buildings range from 7.6m to 14.9m in length, and from 2.6m to 4m in breath, within faced-rubble walls up to 0.8m in thickness and standing up to 1.1m high (around 10 courses). All buildings are built with square corners, and gable ends survive in two examples. The three larger buildings are all sub-divided into two compartments, with one of these buildings having a drain running out through a wall. On a knoll to the SE of this last building are three pits, each about 2m in diameter, which were probably for storage. A relict field system extends outwards from the township, associating Tullich with Garoline 200m to the SE.
The SE township, Garoline, comprises the remains of four rectangular buildings, a small square building, and a yard, in an apparently random layout akin to that at Tullich. Four of the buildings measure between 10m and 12.7m in length, and between 2.5m and 3.8m in breadth, within walls up to 0.8m thick surviving to a height of 1.4m. One of these buildings has a gable end standing 2m high. The fifth building measures 2.6m square within faced-rubble walls, stands to a height of 1.4m, and is attached to a yard or enclosure.
The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon on plan - defined to the NE and NW by the head dyke, to the SW by the dyke marking the outer edge of the former cleared land, and to the SE by an arbitrary boundary - to include the buildings as described above, a sample of their associated field systems, and an area around in which evidence relating to the construction and use of the townships may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area includes the dyke forming the SW boundary, and dykes forming part of the SE boundary, but excludes the head dyke to the NE and NW, to allow for its maintenance.
Statement of National Importance
The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:
Intrinsic characteristics: Enhanced by a lack of intensive agriculture, both settlements are well-preserved examples of pre-Improvement townships existing with associated field systems. Their proximity to each other suggests an interesting parallel and possibly contemporary development story, and this rarity value contributes to their significance. The field system between the two townships is significant, in that archaeology is likely to be well preserved beneath the current rough grazing land, and that it provides a spatial link between the townships. The current landuse regime is likely to aid the preservation of environmental deposits across the field systems and beneath dykes, providing information on historic rural agriculture. This highlights the importance of the field system as an intrinsic component of the monument. Internal divisions in three of the buildings are suggestive of a mix of domestic and agricultural activity. The apparently informal pattern to the layout of both settlements suggests a different development sequence to more formally arranged examples, and thus there is potential for the monument to further our understanding of historic rural structures. The monument has the potential to reveal further information about domestic architecture, rural settlement and agriculture before widespread agricultural improvement and depopulation changed the landscape of this part of Scotland.
Contextual characteristics: This monument is representative of a once widespread class of historic rural settlement that occurred throughout the upland areas of Scotland. Its location on a S facing fertile slope with well developed pre-Improvement field systems is typical of its class. It reflects a time of small-scale rural landuse across Scotland and a form of domestic architecture that was in widespread use, albeit modified according to local form and function. Associated with the township of Garoline are a further two buildings which lie about 100m outside of the scheduled area to the ESE. One is a denuded rectangular building measuring 6.8m in length by 4.6m in breadth over a stony bank reduced to 0.2m in height. The other is a kiln with a circular bowl 1.7m in diameter within a faced-rubble wall 1m in thickness and standing 0.7m high. The flue is on the ENE side, and attached to the NNW side is a barn. These are further evidence of the diversity and range of buildings preserved as part of the settlement.
This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular to the interaction between a pair of pre-Improvement townships across temporal and spatial boundaries. The preservation and survival of extensive field systems means that there is potential for environmental deposits to further our understanding of the historic rural agricultural economy. The clear structural details of each township can inform our knowledge of settlement morphology. There is the potential that the townships seal earlier archaeological evidence relating to rural landuse and division. Its loss would impede our ability to understand the placing of such townships within the landscape, as well as our knowledge of historic rural domestic structures and economy.
RCAHMS record the NW settlement as NH62NW 44 and the Highland Council SMR records the monument as NH62NW0058. RCAHMS record the SE settlement as NH62NW 45, the Highland Council SMR as NH62NW0057.
ORDNANCE SURVEY NAME BOOK, Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Book 20, 68, 90.
RCAHMS 2002, BUT THE WALLS REMAINED: A SURVEY OF UNROOFED RURAL SETTLEMENT DEPICTED ON THE FIRST EDITION OF THE ORDNANCE SURVEY 6-INCH MAP OF SCOTLAND, Edinburgh: RCAHMS and Historic Scotland.
RCAHMS 1994, UPPER STRATHNAIRN, INVERNESS: AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY, Summary Report, Edinburgh: The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
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Printed: 03/12/2022 10:24