MHG11928 - Souterrain and Hut Circles - Fouhlin


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

A souterrain was discovered at Fouhlin on 9th September 1960 during excavations for foundations of bungalow.
Excavations in 1964 and 1965 by A Morrison and R Reid revealed that it was c60 ft long, curved almost at right angles and had no side chambers. The entrance, at downslope end, had steps down into souterrain, and entrance passage, about 2 ft wide, was lined by large slabs surmounted by drystone walling. The souterrain itself had been formed by digging a trench into a glacial mound, lining the sides with drystone walling and roofing it with slabs. The average width was 4.5 ft. Associated surface structures, presumably dwellings, were located at the upper end of the souterrain. Among the finds were querns and a glass bead, probably dating to the Roman Iron Age. At some period, during or after the souterrain's use, the entrance passage was blocked by large stones and earth.
A stratified midden of mussel and oyster shells and burnt material overlay the central part of the souterrain
(Information from Dr C S Sandeman, 13 September 1960).

There are at least 3 & probably 5 hut circles associated with the souterrain (Information contained in letter and Field notes from K Reid 25 September 1978).
A Morrison and R K W Reid 1964; 1965; Info from OS, 29 September 1978.

Access to souterrain is blocked by stones, but it remains intact as the bungalow which was to have occupied site has been built elsewhere. There are no surface indications of hut circles in the locality. Surveyed at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (N K B) 27 November 1978.

Guido identifes the bead as a Class 13 bead (North Scottish spiral-decorated beads). Translucent almost colourless with facets. Guido dates these to the 1st century AD. <1>

Amongst finds was a small pair of bronze shears found between the wall stones and the roof. According to Morrison, 2000, these are unique in Scotland. <2>

The shears are listed under HD 1826 in the NMS catalogue. They are described as having a broken tip and the blades decorated on both faces just inside thickened outer edge and across the upper end with rouletted chevrony line. <3>

See also NC45SW0011

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NC 4038 5409 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC45SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

Finds (3)

  • QUERN (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • SHEARS (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • BEAD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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