Can you dig it?: Raigmore Estate heritage celebration

Issued by Archaeology Scotland

Archaeology Scotland’s Adopt-a-Monument scheme is heading to the Raigmore Estate, Inverness to provide a unique opportunity for local residents to get actively involved with their local heritage. 

Between the 1st and 5th of May, Archaeology Scotland and the Raigmore Community Council will be running a community archaeology excavation on the Raigmore Estate. The focus of the excavation will be the Raigmore Ring Cairn, a Bronze Age funerary monument which was originally situated within what is now A9 dual carriageway. The monument was excavated and recorded by archaeologists in the 1970’s before it was due to be destroyed by the road development.

Thanks to a group of dedicated local council workers and residents, who completed much of the work in their own time, the monument was relocated and reassembled at its current location. Photographs from that time indicated that many of the internal features (such as the stone or cairn platform, the cist burial and pits) were reconstructed with the hope that the monument would be utilized as an educational resource. Over time these features have been obscured by vegetation and other natural process and it is not known if these features still survive. This excavation aims to ascertain if the internal features are still present with the hope that the monument can finally be used as the educational resource it was intended to be.      

Taking part in this heritage celebration is Raigmore Primary School which has been doing a study on the monument. Head teacher Fiona Shearer said: “We are really excited to be involved in this project.  Our P5 children enjoyed their topic on ‘Inverness’ and really like finding out about Clava Cairn.  The Raigmore cairn is the same type as Clava Cairn, so it is great to be able to join in with the excavation and restoration of the Raigmore Cairn.  This is a really valuable educational resource right in the middle of our community.

Cara Jones from Archaeology Scotland says: “This is a monument with a fascinating and quite complex history. Not only did it provide important archaeological evidence at the time of the original excavation, it also has attached an incredibly story through the many people who have interacted and have cared for it over the last 40 years. We are really looking forward to working with the Raigmore Community Council and local residents to see if the internal features of the monument do survive. Through the generous contributions from our funders – the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and the Highland Leader Fund, together with the Scottish Community Foundation, we hope to add to the lasting legacy of the project by finally realizing the 40 year old ambition of those who relocated it in 1974.”

The excavation will be open for site visits on the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th of May between 10am and 4pm and there are still places available for those who might want to get that real ‘Time Team’ experience.  Anyone interested in taking part can contact Cara at The monument is situated behind Raigmore Community Centre.

29 Apr 2013