EHG4602 - Excavation - Longhouse at Glenleraig, Assynt



Historic Assynt


July 2014


In 2009 the surviving remains of the large settlement of Glenleraig, which had been cleared in 1812, were surveyed as part of Historic Assynt's community archaeology project Assynt's Hidden Lives project under the leadership of AOC Archaeology. The project identified the settlement as one of a number of Assynt sites of various periods which should be further investigated. One typical longhouse (153AD) within the settlement was chosen for full excavation in 2011 as part of the Life and Death in Assynt's Past project, also led by AOC Archaeology. That excavation of a stone walled longhouse discovered a number of unusual features, especially a pair of flues feeding air to a hollow beneath the free standing hearth stone and finds of high quality pottery most of it probably dating to 1775 - 1785. These discoveries challenged standard assumptions about the poverty and lack of sophistication of highland life in the pre-clearance period. In response Historic Assynt members decided to undertake some targeted excavations at other longhouses of the period in Assynt to compare the overall structure and especially the hearth arrangements and any finds with 153AD. A longhouse in the much smaller pre-clearance settlement of Cnoc an Each (NC 1082 2113) was selected and excavations conducted there in October 2013. The domestic area of this house had been constructed of turf whereas the byre end of the house and an outshot were stone walled. There were no finds and the possible evidence of flues associated with the hearth was ambiguous. It was decided to return to Glenleraig in 2014 and longhouse 153S (NC 1517 3149), situated in a different part of the setlement, was selected. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Location Glenleraig, Assynt
Grid reference Centred NC 2153 9313 (72m by 72m)
Map sheet NC29SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Township, Gleann Leireag (Monument)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 15 2018 10:33AM

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