Dig: Thrumster Community Excavation

22 April 2024

In 2022, the Yarrows Heritage Trust used money committed by a local windfarm trust for a community project to search for the remains of a “lost” towerhouse, Thurster Tower. There are numerous historical references to this tower, but it was probably destroyed in the early 17th century. Its exact whereabouts are unknown, although local tradition locates it to a field just north of Ulbster.

In April 2023 AOC Archaeology led a preliminary community excavation of a structure in this field, involving community volunteers and local schoolchildren. The excavation was led by Andy Heald of AOC who has extensive knowledge of Caithness. This superficial excavation uncovered part of the structure revealing a complex multi-period building with an earlier more solid structure underpinning later additions. This did not have the appearance of the looked-for towerhouse but did look as if it would provide the opportunity to investigate a Caithnesian vernacular building.

Their aim this year is to return to the site with AOC Archaeology in order to do a longer and more extensive excavation of the structure, with ample opportunity for community involvement and post-ex analysis.

To get involved and for more details, register your interest by emailing heritage@yarrowsheritagetrust.co.uk.

All welcome, no experience required!

Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), The Goods Shed, The Old Station, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV14 9DH
Tel: +44 (0)77888 35466 Email: