Aberdeenshire HER - NO39NE0113 - TULLICH BURIAL GROUND

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNO39NE0113
NRHE Card No. 
NRHE Numlink
Site Form Documentary Record Only
Site Condition Destroyed
Details Trial trenching was carried out by MAS in 2012 in the field adjacent to Tullich Church (NO39NE0002) prior to extension to the cemetery. Five trenches were excavated, all aligned east-west. Over much of the site this recorded shallow topsoil over natural gravel and the only archaeological features uncovered lay on the west side of the site, near to the existing graveyard fence. A curving ditch recorded in Trenches 1, 2 and 5 is also visible as a dip in the adjacent field. These may correspond to the wide dark grass mark visible on aerial photographs. Whilst no dateable material was recovered it is of comparable size to ditches around other early Christian churches and monastic sites. A small structure with associated hearth or oven in Trench 1 lay within the area enclosed by the ditch, however a charcoal sample that was radiocarbon dated shows this to be post-medieval in date. A later lime kiln was recorded over the largely backfilled ditch. This is not shown on the OS 1st edition map and probably pre-dates this although the finds indicate a post-medieval date. It appears to have been a relatively small and possibly short-lived kiln. Subsequently ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey was carried out in March 2013 to map the known ditches and other features at the site. Whilst this located the known part of the ditch and the postulated ditch it is not as well defined as expected on some areas, probably due to a lack of contrast between the fill and surrounding natural. Survey confirmed the revetment of the main ditch in several areas. Numerous discrete anomalies were identified which may be archaeologically significant. Further excavation was carried out in May-June 2013 to investigate the anomalies identified by GPR. Excavation northeast of the church and graveyard (Area A) identified the main ditch and an inner arc of stones set against the slope of a hollow. The stones include two of granite with incised ring headed crosses (see also NO39NE0016), that may date from the 8th century. They were not in their original position. A trench (Area E) east of the graveyard recorded the main ditch as 6.3-7.8m wide and 1.6m deep. The excavation demonstrated the development of inner and outer enclosures around the church, some of this work being undertaken between the late 7th and 9th centuries. The ditch was dug, or re-dug, in the 13th/14th century during the period when the church was in the possession of the Knights Templars and subsequently Knights Hospitallers. From the medieval period the ditch appears to have silted naturally.
Last Update25/06/2020
Updated Bycpalmer
Date of Compilation14/02/2013

Easting: 339118.988238659, Northing: 797562.652612068

Google Map for NO39NE0113

National Grid Reference: NO 3911 9756

Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
2012 Evaluation mas1-145701
2013 Geophysical Survey
2013 Excavation mas1-207541

Excavations and Surveys

Date MDate YTypeDurationDirector / OrganisationAuspicesFundExtent
112012 Excavation  MAS DEV 
32013 Survey  RGCAC  
 2013 Excavation  MAS  7-10

Artefact and Ecofact


Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability