MHG11373 - Learable township


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Type and Period (1)

  • TOWNSHIP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NC82SE 20.00 895 236.

(NC 895236) Learable (NAT) OS 6" map, (1963)

This depopulated township consists of twenty-four buildings with associated enclosures and two corn-drying kilns. At NC 89632334 there is a mounded feature 11.0m x 9.0m x 0.5m high; on its surface are five shallow depressions about 2.0m in diameter. Four further depressions lie about 10.0m to the E. Another group is to be seen at the N end of the township; all are of uncertain purposes. There are clear remains of narrow rig and associated lynchets within an area of about ten hectares of cultivated ground, bounded on the W side by the township wall.
Visited by OS (JB) 21 January 1977

The township of Learable and its associated fields are largely encompassed by a ring-dyke, which runs in a great curve to the W of the River Helmsdale on the E flank of Learable Hill, enclosing an area of some 40 hectares. Within, or immediately adjacent to, the area of the township there are a variety of archaeological monuments in addition to the buildings and cultivation remains; these include three hut-circles, several enclosures, three burnt mounds, two buildings of Pitcarmick-type, a variety of clearance heaps and a field-system.
The lands of 'Leryboll' are first documented in a charter of confirmation of Queen Mary in favour of Helen Stewart, widow of the Earl of Errol in 1548 (Reg Magni Sig Scot 1546-1580). The farm of Learable is listed in a rental of 1687 (NLS Dep 313/2100) and there are six tenants, each with one hearth, listed in the Hearth Tax return of 1690 (SRO E69/23/1). It is mapped by General Roy in the mid 18th century (Roy 1747-55, sheet 36/2) and was let at wadset in 1744 (NLS Sutherland MSS, Dep 313/307) and in 1802 to one Robert Pope, before being finally redeemed in 1815 at the time of the clearance of these lands (Adam 1972).

20.01 NC 895 236 Township, including two kiln-barns
(KILD91 296, 298-306, 308-318, 323-335, 420-422) 20.02 NC 895 236 Boundary Dyke; Cultivation Remains
20.03 NC 8949 2371 Hut-circle; enclosures (KILD91 320-22)
20.04 NC 8960 2397 Hut-circle (KILD91 206)
20.05 NC 8980 2380 Hut-circle (KILD91 209)
20.06 NC 8973 2365 Burnt Mound (KILD91 205)
20.07 NC 8949 2337 Burnt Mound (KILD91 297)
20.08 NC 8961 2329 Burnt Mound (KILD91 307)
20.09 NC 8938 2362 Buildings: Round-ended (KILD91 418-19)
20.10 NC 896 239 Field-system; Hut (possible) (KILD91 207)
20.11 NC 8959 2381 Enclosure (KILD91 423)
20.12 NC 8950 2360 Enclosure (KILD91 319)
20.13 NC 8940 2353 Enclosure (KILD91 295)
Reg Mag Sig Reg Scot, VI, 1546-1580, no.241
R J Adam 1972, vol 1, App A & lvii ff.
(KILD91 205-209, 295-335, 418-423)
Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 5 June 1991.

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred NC 8949 2360 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC82SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish KILDONAN

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