MHG11786 - Souterrain & Shale rings, Kirkton


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • SOUTERRAIN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

(NH 7958 9878) Earth-House (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1971)

An earth-house, cruciform in plan and having 2 entrances. It is 37ft long and runs NNW-SSE following slope of hill. Access at N end is by an unroofed flight of six or seven steps, 1ft 7ins across.
The main gallery is 6ft in maximum height, neatly built of thin flat stones and roofed with slabs. It expands to an extreme width of 4ft before two side-chambers are reached at a distance of 14ft to 15ft from entrance. Beyond them, after restriction to 3ft 4ins it again expands to maximum of 4ft 4ins. The eastern side-chamber is 3ft wide, 7ft 1in long and 4ft 11ins high, roofed by slabs. The end is rounded and there is a slight upward convergence of walls. N side of its entrance projects 1ft further into main gallery than does S side. The western side-chamber is 7ft long, 3ft 5ins in max width and 4ft 11ins high with roof of overlapping slabs. S side of its 2ft 2ins wide entrance projects 1ft 9ins further into main gallery than N side.
At S end of main gallery is a doorway giving onto a narrow passage which leads to outside. Projecting jambs, 1ft 4ins apart, flank the doorway, that on W projecting 7ins, and that on E 3ins. Behind each jamb is square bar-hole, and beyond them, passage is 6ft long, 1ft 6ins high and 1ft 6ins to 1ft 8ins wide.
When earth-house was cleared out, two shale rings, 1 inch in diameter, one complete and other fragmentary, were found, as well as much food-refuse lying on floor.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909. <1>

The shale rings are in Dunrobin Museum (Acc No: 1871.2-9) (3).
Info from TS of Catalogue of Dunrobin Museum, by A S Henshall.

A souterrain, as described.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 31 January 1966.

No change. Visited by OS (N K B) 15 May 1981.

Thumbnail Photo - showing side chambers
Lindsay maclean, 03/04

The souterrain was visited by members of Clyne Heritage Society, 20/3/04. There are two clear entrances into the souterrain.

A photograph of the shale ring, on display in Dunrobin Museum, was submitted to the HER by a participant on a Community Timeline course, run by ARCH. <2>

There are several objects from Kirkton souterrain in Dunrobin Castle Museum. These comprise a perforated weight (1871.2), shale ring fragments (1871.3-6), a shale ring (1871.7), animal bone (1871.8) and an iron ferrule (1871.9). They were catalogued during an inventory of Dunrobin Castle Museum's collection in 2019 by ARCH. On display in case 25, shelf C. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 7957 9878 (40m by 40m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH79NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish GOLSPIE

Finds (5)

  • DISC (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • FERRULE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • RING (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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