MHG1002 - Field system - Broubster


A field system at Broubster associated with a number of hut circles.

Type and Period (3)

  • LYNCHET (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • CLEARANCE CAIRN (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A field system at Broubster associated with a number of hut circles, recorded by the OS at this location in 1981.

Centred at ND 028 611, on a gently sloping, NE-facing hill-side there is a settlement of five hut circles (A-E) and two small, boat-shaped structures (F, G) which appear to be contemporary with the huts. The five hut circles are circular or nearly circular, and range in size from 7.5m internal diameter to 10m by 9m internally. All have simple entrances either in the SE or E.
Obscured by reeds, 'B' is the best preserved hut. It measures 9m in diameter within a wall spread to 2.5m and 0.6m high. The other huts are in a moderate state of preservation. The two small enclosures, F and G are very similar being internally 5m NE-SW by 2.5m transversely, and 5m by 3m respectively. In each case the SW end is noticeably pointed. The walls are about 1m wide and 0.3m high. No entrances can be identified with certainty.
In the proximity of the huts and enclosures there is a field system of about 1.5 ha comprising stretches of wasted field walls, lynchets and scattered clearance heaps from contemporary cultivation. No plots are evident.
Surveyed at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (J B) 22 September 1981.

These hut-circles are plotted on the record sheet at the following locations:
A: ND 0282 6125
B: ND 0292 6128
C: ND 0292 6121
D: ND 0280 6114
E: ND 0281 6112
F: ND 0287 6124
G: ND 0293 6114
Information from NMRS (R Mowat) 7 February 1994/

Note: The NGRS above for D & E are in error and should be:
D: ND 0290 6114
E: ND 0291 6112

Four of the cleareance cairns were identified in LiDAR data gathered by AOC Archaeology in 2011 as part of the mitigation for the visual impact on the archaeological landscape associated with the proposed Baillie Hill windfarm, Caithness. Clearance cairns in area of rig-and-furrow, overlying earlier hut-circles. <1>

The site was visited and recorded by topographic survey in 2015 as part of the 'Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness Project' undertaken by AOC Archaeology Group and members of the Castletown Heritage Society with local volunteers. The project ran as a series of four week long field schools training volunteers in techniques of field survey, systematic soil sampling and targeted excavation. Fieldwork in week one of the fieldschool (22-27/06/2015) focussed on using LiDAR data in the field, use of GPS to create simple maps of archaeological sites and ground-truthing sites through LiDAR. In week two (13-18/07/2015) participants learned how to create accurate plans using manual taped offset and plane table survey and total station and GPS surveys. Site 10: Cairn field containing at least 12 cairns, covering an area measuring 100m x 30m, ranging from 1m-5m in diameter and up to 0.8m in height. It lies on an E facing slope of heather and rough grazing within a generally undulating landscape containing numerous hut circles. <2>

GIS spatial data drawn according to the location of the feature as shown on old SMR 1:10,000 map. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 0288 6123 (218m by 311m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND06SW
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (2)

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