Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

Medieval Cromarty

Community excavation

Read the Cromarty blogs: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Medieval spindle whorl found in Cromarty
Medieval spindle whorl found in Cromarty

The winter storms over December and January 2012/13 that caused so much damage along the east coast of Scotland also exposed exciting archaeological remains along the shore at Cromarty. Stone walls and thick layers of rubbish deposits containing shell, bone, pottery, daub, ash, charcoal and iron boat rivets are all visible in the coastal section on the east side of the town. An initial look at the pottery indicates it is medieval – and there is every chance that the heart of medieval Cromarty is being revealed in the eroding section.

Locally-based archaeologists and the local community grasped the opportunity to make the most of the eroding section to help uncover the history of medieval Cromarty, and set up the Cromarty Medieval Burgh Community Archaeology Project (CMBCAP) to so.

We joined forces with the project in its first year to support a pilot community excavation to find out more about the character and significance of the archaeological deposits revealed in the coast edge.

The results proved that this part of Cromarty is full of well-preserved medieval archaeology. Much of it was related to fish and fishing, and so it is very likely we are looking at the fishing quarter of the medieval burgh.

The Cromarty Project went on to achieve funding for a 3- year community project to continue the investigations.

Go to the CMBCAP website