MHG12143 - Site of hut circle at Ruighe Shligeach (Rhiconich)


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Middle Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 1500 BC to 1057 AD) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

At NC 2517 5213, on the edge of rising moorland, is a hut circle, set into the slope and measuring 8.5m in diameter within a wall at most pronounced a heather-covered rubble spread of 1.5m to 2.0m and 0.3m high. A 5.0m wide break in the SE arc may indicate the entrance position. One or two mounds in the vicinity are probably associated stone clearance heaps.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (JM) 5 June 1980.

Photographed in 1993. <1> <2>

In March 1993, this hut circle was excavated by GUARD prior to its destruction by roadworks. The wall of the house consisted of a roughly circular (12m by 11m) low stone bank, reaching a maximum height of 0.7m. The entrance lay to the SE. Gneiss boulders formed a rough face on the inside of the wall. An extension of the wall, 1.90m long, formed a spur to the E of the entrance, possibly acting as a windbreak. A small cell (2.8m by 2.2m) was set into the outside of the wall on its SW side. Post settings within the house suggest that the roof was supported by an inner ring of posts. The centre of the house was dominated by the remains of a stone oven floor and flue, set on a stone flagged floor. A deposit of black, ashy, charcoal-rich soil surrounded the oven and was trampled into the floor. Finds recovered included a range of potsherds, tools and flakes of flint, chert and quartz, an elongated polished stone, a possible limpet hammer and burnt bone. The site remains undated until specialist analysis of the finds and radiocarbon assay have been completed. <3>

Radio-carbon dating was subsequently carried out but a full report, which was intended to be published after submission to Historic Scotland, has not appeared. However, a final draft as submitted for publication in PSAS in 1997 was produced. The structure was found to date to the Bronze Age with associated lithics and pottery. The site continued as a focus of activity and was certainly in use during the early historic period, again producing finds which included metalwork, lithics and pottery: GU-4243 1603-1321 cal BC, GU-4244 1680-1308 cal BC, GU-4245 424-641 can AD and GU-4246 1623-1317 cal BC at 2 sigma. <17>

See link below to Scottish Radiocarbon Database for radiocarbon dates.

Sources/Archives (17)



Grid reference Centred NC 2516 5213 (12m by 12m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC25SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND

Finds (9)

  • SHERD (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • TOGGLE (Early Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 2400 BC? to 1057 AD?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • GUNFLINT (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Early Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 2400 BC? to 1057 AD?)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Early Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 2400 BC? to 1057 AD?)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Early Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 2400 BC? to 1057 AD?)
  • HUMAN REMAINS? (Early Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 2400 BC? to 1057 AD?)
  • CEREAL GRAIN (Early Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 2400 BC? to 1057 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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