George Geddes, an Archaeology Survey and Recording Project Manager at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) explains the archaeology of Croick in the Highlands.
The ruinous and mutilated remains of an Iron Age Broch stand in the glebe lands on the riverside at Croick. Few visitors cross the wall from the churchyard to visit them – the remains are difficult to ‘read’, having been robbed and rebuilt over two millennia. The church itself, built to one of Thomas Telford’s designs, stands testament to a period of violent change in the surrounding landscape, when many of the tenantry were forcibly removed. During 1845 a number of evicted families took shelter in the churchyard and etched their names in the beautiful windows providing a lasting memorial to an event that must have been truly traumatic for the people involved. Nowadays, the church is a serene and peaceful place to visit and a visitor noted that they were ‘moved to tears’ by the display. What place then, to help one think about social progress, inequality and change, not only in the 19th century (so recently in one sense), but also in the Iron Age when movements of people and power may have been every bit as dramatic.
This is what I’ve chosen for Day of Archaeology, but why not tell us your favourite archaeological sites in Scotland on Twitter using #MyArchaeology.
You can also contact the local authority Historic Environment Record (HER) for more information. In this case contact details are:
HER Officer / Historic Environment Team / Highland Council
Planning & Development, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX
T: 01463 702503