MHG12002 - Possible Henge, Homestead, The Ord

Summary

No summary available.

Type and Period (3)

  • HOMESTEAD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • (Alternate Type) CHAMBERED ROUND CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • (Alternate Type) HENGE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

Full Description

Visible on Aps. Highland Council 2004 Lairg No10 & 11 - HAW 8/2004

NC50NE 38 5776 0521.
Enclosure (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1970)

On a slight ridge is a circular enclosure with an internal diameter of 43ft surrounded by a wall of turf and boulders 7ft across and now only 1.5ft high. Beyond the wall is a berm 19ft wide reaching to the edge of an enclosing ditch 21ft wide and about 6ft deep. The circle of ditch is broken to SSW where the entrance has been. It has passed between two walls now traceable only from the outer edge of the berm, diverging from 9ft apart to 13ft at their outer extremities. A turf dyke, comparatively modern, has crossed over the construction.
RCAHMS 1911. <1>

The remains of a fine bell-cairn, the central mound of which has been almost entirely removed leaving a rim only. 'entrance' in SSW is almost certainly modern, to facilitate removal of central mound.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 28 June 1963 and (AC) 13 December 1966.

Prominently situated on a ridge extending SE from summit of The Ord is a circular earthwork comprising a platform 38m diameter within a ditch, 1.8m deep, and outer bank. The platform and ditch have been brought to level on gentle SE slope; in consequence the outer bank is higher on SE downslope. The ditch and bank are breached in SW arc by a causeway and gap. Central to the platform is a circular bank of earth and stones measuring 19.5m overall diameter, 0.5m high, and with a consistent width of about 3m though it too has a gap in SW corresponding to the causeway over the ditch. Two or three large stones set into this bank give an impression of the inner and outer wall face or kerb. The interior of enclosure is level and stone-free though 0.5m higher than platform outside. A ruinous enclosure wall of 18th/19th century date (associated with run-rig) crosses bank and ditch in NE and SW, and overlies NW arc of the central enclosure, which it clearly post-dates.
The work is well constructed, perfectly proportioned and appears to belong to the broad class of ritual or burial monuments. The most likely hypothesis is that it is a robbed bell cairn, the 'central enclosure' being the rim of cairn material, and the 'causeway' a modern construction wide enough for a cart to enter. However, it could be a hengiform earthwork, the central feature being later, eg. A hut circle or a post-medieval enclosure. The latter is of regular width and height with possible facing stones, and the interior is free of stones; such 'neatness' of robbing (as of a cairn) is unusual.
The work was overgrown with heather and bracken at the time of investigation. It occurs within an area of settlement and field system (NC50NE 13); to the NW on The Ord are six burial cairns.
Resurveyed at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (NKB) 13 9 1976.

Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (J B) 15 March 1979.

Re-investigation of this site, which remains as described by previous authorities, has engendered doubt as to its classification as a cairn or hengiform earthwork. The perfect proportions noted are illusory, and unquestionably the central enclosure has the appearance of a hut circle, evidenced by facing-stones and stone-free interior, rather than a too-neatly robbed cairn, although the entrance is obscure. The work probably falls into the category of homesteads defended by a ditch typified by sites in Strath Naver (NC75NW 14), Borgie (NC65NE 1), and Strath Kildonan (NC82SE 11 and NC92SW 13).
Visited by OS (N K B) 30 July 1981.

Suggested to be a circular defended homstead, when surveyed in Spring 2010. Located on a ridge extending SE from summit of The Ord, it comprises a platform 38m diameter within a ditch, 1.8m deep and outer bank. The ditch and bank are breached in SW arc by a causeway and gap. Central to the platform is a circular bank of earth and stones measuring 19.5m overall diameter, 0.5m high, and 3m wide with a gap in SW corresponding to the causeway over the ditch. The interior of enclosure is level and stone-free and higher than platform outside. A ruinous enclosure wall, part of field system MHG40491, crosses bank and ditch in NE and SW, and overlies the NW arc of the central enclosure, which it post-dates.
Two small sub-rectangular buildings were also recorded, next to each other, just E of the homestead. They are defined by turf banks 0.3m high and spread to 1.5m wide. The structures measure 1.3m by 3m and 1.5m by 2.5m internally and are both are partly covered in bracken.<2>


Wickham Jones C, The Ord, Lairg A Journey Back in Time (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG3520.


Wickham Jones C; Harden J, 2000, The Ord, Lairg: Archaeological Trail (Text/Publication/Leaflet). SHG2934.


<1> RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, 138, No. 396 (Text/Report). SHG2657.


<2> Dalland, M, 05/2010, A Topographic Archaeological Survey of the Ord Prehistoric Landscape: Lairg, North Highland, Sites HA11.9-10 (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG24798.

Sources/Archives (4)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NC 5775 0520 (70m by 70m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC50NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish LAIRG

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (3)

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