Aberdeenshire HER - NO79NW0002 - LOCH OF LEYS

Print site NO79NW0002 Feedback on site NO79NW0002

Main Details

Primary ReferenceNO79NW0002
NameLOCH OF LEYS
NRHE Card No.NO79NW3
NRHE Numlink 36684
HES SM No. 4466
HES LB No.
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Incomplete
Details Remains of a crannog and later structure. When the Loch of Leys was drained in 1850, an excavation revealed an artificial island with foundations made of oak and birch trees laid alternatively and filled up with earth and stones. When excavated, the bark was quite fresh on the trees. The island was surrounded by oak piles which projected a few feet above the ground. The remains of a large red deer, bronze vessels and a mill-stone were also recovered. The foundations of a probable late medieval structure were exposed during excavation. In the late 18th century 'ruins of houses and an oven' were still apparently visible on the island. This crannog is traditionally believed to have been the seat of the Wauchope family before being deprived of their possessions as a result of their opposition to Bruce. It then became the property of the Burnetts of Leys from circa 1324, who probably lived there until Crathes Castle was built in the late 16th century. A survey and excavation was carried out by Michael J. Stratigos in February to March 2016. The work included a full topographical survey of the island and an excavation of a single 2 x 3 metres trench. The organic elements of the crannog have deteriorated significantly since 1850. The trial trench recorded well laid stone work that capped the organic anthropogenic layer. On top of the island mount, the walls of a medieval building can still be seen covering an area circa 20 x 20 metres. The function of this building is unclear. Two contexts within the trial trench provided radiocarbon dates of 21-209 cal AD (95% probability) and 890-1013 cal AD (95% probability).
Last Update09/03/2020
Updated Bycpalmer
Compiler 
Date of Compilation 

Google Map for NO79NW0002

National Grid Reference: NO 7046 9779



Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
1850 Excavation
2016 Survey
2016 Excavation

Excavations and Surveys

Date MDate YTypeDurationDirector / OrganisationAuspicesFundExtent
 1850  SIR J BURNETT   
 2016 Survey  STRATIGOS, M.J.   
 2016 Excavation  STRATIGOS, M.J.   

Artefact and Ecofact

Date MDate YArtefact TypeFinderRecovery MethodConditionStorage LocationAccess No.
71850 BRONZE CAULDRONS Excavation Personal Possession  
71850 BRONZE EWER Excavation National Museum of Scotland MA 6,7
71850 QUERN-STONE Excavation Personal Possession  

Ecofact

Samples
Palynology
Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability
CRANNOGS REMAINS OFA100
PILES OAKB100
CASTLES SITE OFC100
EWERSBRONZE D100
CAULDRONSBRONZE E100
COINS  F100
BUILDINGS REMAINS OFG100
BONES DEERH100
OVENS SITE OFI100