MHG11705 - The Crask


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH79SW 1 730 923.

About 400 yards NW of the westmost cottage in Astle are two almost contiguous enclosures, that to the W ('A') being oval, and that to the E ('B') circular. Each has an entrance in the SSE. About six mounds lie in the vicinity.
Some 400 yards NNE (NNW) of the same cottage is another circular enclosure ('C'), with the entrance "probably from the NE". The interior appears to be subdivided into three main compartments now obscured by tumble, each compartment apparently having a separate entrance.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

Centred at NH 730 923, on The Crask, a ridge sloping gently to the SE, is a settlement of seven stone-walled huts ('A' - 'G') and an associated field system.
Hut 'A' measures 13.5m in diameter between wall centres and is set into a SSE-facing slope. It is bounded by a back scarp surmounted by a rickle of stones on the NNW arc, and a spread wall, c. 4.5m wide, in the lower SSE arc. The poorly-defined entrance is in the ENE between the excavated and built-up areas of the platform.
'B' is similar to 'A' but measures 15.5.m in diameter between wall centres. It is mutilated in the E arc and the entrance cannot be seen. 'C', the best preserved, is circular with both inner and outer wall faces visible intermittently, giving an internal diameter of 10.0m and a wall thickness of 2.0m all round. The NE arc is mutilated, the stones from the wall having been thrown within the hut forming fortuitous "walls" which the RCAHMS has interpreted as sub-divisions. The ill-defined entrance is in the SE.
'D' is oval with outer facing-stones visible around most of the periphery,giving overall measurements of 16.0m NW-SE by 14.0m with the wall spread to c. 2.0m all round. The entrance, in the SE, is flanked by two upright blocks, 1.2m apart.
'E', set into a S-facing slope is oval, measuring 16.5m E-W by 14.5m between wall centres. It is bounded by a wall, spread to 3.5m on the lower S arc, but surviving only as a rickle of stones on the upper N arc. No entrance can be seen.
'F' is similar to hut 'E', but measures 15.0m E-W by 13.0m between wall centres.
'G', set into a SE-facing slope, is circular, measuring 7.5m in diameter between wall centres, with walls spread to c. 2.0m all round. The entrance is in the SE down the slope.
The field system is marked by stone clearance heaps, lynchets and field walls, forming cultivation plots, 45.0m by 25.0m average size.
Some 80.0m SE of hut 'A' are the tumbled remains of a stone-built rectangular structure of uncertain period and function. It measures overall c. 18.0m NE-SW by 9.0m. The walls are spread to c. 2.5m thick and no faces can be seen. Its state of preservation is similar to that of the huts but it is probably much later.
Huts A, B and C surveyed at 1:2500. (OS {W D J})
Visited by OS (W D J) 17 June 1963 and (N K B) 31 October 1969.

About 80.0m ESE of hut 'A' there is an unusual rectangular house foundation, with rounded corners and thick walls, measuring 6.5m x 14.5m, not unlike the west coast black houses.
A, B and C revised and D - G surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (J M) 15 May 1975.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 7307 9235 (550m by 421m) (9 map features)
Map sheet NH79SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DORNOCH

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