|Thought I'd try the Loch of Tankerness again for Raymond Lamb's double BA house/settlement. The stone in the field by Grieves Cottage is now down. Would have liked to know if anything was thereby revealed but new fences were then being set up in the field. Between the loch banks and the loch itself is a very wide flat margin, and though the water level appears to be now lower this margin has dried out considerably. A not quite row of rectangular features has come to light (or at least become more obvious through 'drainage'), long ends facing the loch. Coming south from the gothic boathouse the first one [A] is totally dried out and would seem natural with low opposing linear rocky outcrops/walls forming the long ends with big brown slabs covering three sides and a short line of erect stones coming from landward to the northern end of the long east side. There are two stones that look to form a smal circular arc. The next depression [B] is like a cross betwen semi-circle and rectangle, it is filled with grass and there are only a few of the large brown slabs. The third feature [C] is still a pool, has well-formed sides of that low rocky outcrop (the north side is definitely untouched natural with very long rocks as has the lochward side), no large brown slabs. Its south and east sides are fairly unformed. What is most fascinating, however, is the way that the pool is sub-divided narrow-ways by angled 'causeways' of mostly small stones. Not all of these visibly go all the way between the long sides. They remind me of the stone rows I had seen around the Harray loch. Why not perpendicular ? My thought was fish traps [?fishponds], though I had no idea why this was sectioned up. The next dried-out pond [D] is distinctly L-shaped and regular. The last feature [E] also still holds water and almost has a complete division. With these last two you can look across at the burnt mound and [groan] ponder connections. At the Waterhall end is a drained arm of the loch, the bottom revealed by nature or artifice, I know not which. So after the time of Raymond's drought did the loch levels never recover in the time since or could his features now be permanently exposed but unseen ?
Posted by wideford
24th August 2008ce