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Moray SMR - NJ33NW0025 - BATTLE OF MORTLACH

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ33NW0025
NameBATTLE OF MORTLACH
NMRS Card No.NJ33NW5
NMRS Numlink16817
HS Ref No. 
Site Form Documentary Record Only
Site Condition Destroyed
Details Supposed site of Battle of Mortlach, between Malcolm II and the Danes under Sweyn, thought to have occurred in this vicinity in c.1005 AD. The supposed location is marked on the 1st and 2nd edition OS maps, and the tradition of the Battle is still known locally. Hector Boece, in his History of Scotland (1527) describes the meeting of the two armies thus: 'The Vikings approached from Carron House on Speyside, whilst Malcolm had come up from the East via Glen Fiddich, having camped the previous night at Auchindoun. The armies collided near the monastery of Mortlach, in the secluded glen of the Dullan Water'. Marren, in Grampian Battlefields (1990), queries the authenticity of Boece's very detailed description, which appears to have little evidence to support it, and suggests that his account may be a 'a gloss on the tradition that King Malcolm II founded the Mortlach See on the field of the battle'. He does, however, go on to say that 'The tradition that some sort of battle did take place at Mortlach in the early years of the eleventh century is surely strong enough to be trustworthy', but the exact location of the battle site is yet to be established. There have been no recent finds, but there are reports from the 19th Century of human bones, broken swords and armour having been found in the area around Mortlach 'from time to time'. The Dullan Water runs on the South side of the village, so it would seem more likely that the initial skirmish may have occurred elsewhere (c.NJ324387), with the Scots supposedly then pursuing the Vikings North towards Balvenie Castle (NJ34SW0001).
Last Update02/10/2013
Updated Bycherbert
Compiler 
Date of Compilation 

Map showing site detail for application for NJ33NW0025."Map showing site detail for application for NJ33NW0025."
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Easting: 332200000, Northing: 839300000

Google Map for NJ33NW0025

National Grid Reference: NJ 3220 3930



Event Details


Excavations and Surveys


Artefact and Ecofact

Date MDate YArtefact TypeFinderRecovery MethodConditionStorage LocationAccess No.
00 SWORD FRAGMENTS Stray Find  
00 ARMOUR FRAGMENTS Stray Find  

Ecofact

Samples
Palynology
Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability
BATTLES SITE OFA95
BONESHUMAN B80
SWORDS REMAINS OFC80
ARMOUR REMAINS OFD80