MHG12245 - Crofting Township, Loch Beannach


No summary available.

Type and Period (6)

  • CROFTING TOWNSHIP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LAZY BEDS (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GRAIN MILL (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MILL DAM (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC12NW 1 149 263.

Centred on NC 149 263 is a crofting township cleared in the 'Sutherland Improvements' of the 19th century. Its name cannot be discovered locally. Remaining are the footings of eleven buildings, dimensions from 3.0 m by 2.0 m to 16.0 m by 5.0 m, in two separate groups of six and five, all within a contemporary field complex of ruinous walls, banks and individual enclosures. The ground is marked by sporadic heaps of cleared stone; outlying 'lazy-bed' cultivation is evident. At NC 1522 2636, in the side of the stream issuing from Loch an t- Sabhail (Loch of the Barn), are the dry-stone, tumbled remains of an associated corn mill measuring some 5.0 m by 4.0 m; the course of a lade and race is just discernible. A dam, still intact and 1.5 m high, occurs 20.0 m upstream. Surveyed at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (J M) 16 July 1980.

A township comprising six unroofed buildings, four enclosures and two short lengths of wall, is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Sutherland 1878, sheet lix). Thirteen unroofed buildings, one of which is marked as a disused mill, six enclosures and some short lengths of wall are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10,560 map (1967).
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 5 September 1995

The township was surveyed by the Assynt's Hidden Lives project in December 2009. It was identified as two separate sites - site 77 and 77B corresponding with the two groups of buildings identified previously by the Ordnance Survey. Two neighbouring townships are located on high, flat ground, with a dyke separating the lands between them. The area to SW comprises site 77, and the area to the NE is Site 77B. Site 77 comprises six reasonably well preserved building remains. Two of the buildings have attached enclosures. The buildings are of dry stone construction, with walls around 0.7m wide, consisting of two faces containing a rubble fill. The walls of these structures survive to 1.8m in height and are built from gneiss. Remnants of cultivation are visible around both townships.
Site 77B is a neighbouring settlement to the NE, comprising four buildings with associated enclosures of the same build style as Site 77. A dam and mill at the south end of Loch An T Sabhail were also visited. The mouth of the loch is revetted and narrowed with stone rubble; large stone rubble formed the dam. Around 20m downstream of the dam lie the mill and lade which are both constructed from varied rubble. The mill is a curving broad wall built against the bank of the burn circa 5m by 4m, and 1m in height. The lade is visible running through and exiting the centre of the mill walls, which are 2m wide.
Both sites had sizeable longhouses. Build quality was somewhat better in the longhouse in site 77B, which features dressed quoins. The building is sub-divided internally, and has a single window opening.
Building A has dimensions of 8m x 5m x 0.35m high
Building B has dimensions of 5m x 4m x 1.8m high
Building C has dimensions of 11m x 5m x 1.2m high
Building D has dimensions of 11m x 4m x 1.8m high
Building E is a longhouse with dimensions of 16m x 5m x 2m high. Building is sub divided internally
into three compartments c.4m squared with walls up to 1m thick
Building F has dimensions of 7m x 3m x 0.45m high
Building G has dimensions of 6m x 3m x 1.45m high joined to building H by a short wall.
Building H has dimensions of 10m x 5m x 0.35m high
Building I has dimensions of 8m x 4m x 1.2m high
Structure J is an enclosure d-shaped with area 30m squared with ancillary wall to east side. The
dimensions are 8m x 5m x 0.35m high.
Building K has dimensions of 6m x 3m 0.45m high
Building L is a longhouse with dimensions of 16m x 5m x 2m high and walls measuring 0.6m wide. The
building is divided internally into three compartments with sub-division in NE room. Quoins form
corners of building with two possible entrances into main central and NW compartments. There is one
window visible in E Wall.
Building M is an enclosure with dimensions of 20m x 16m x 1.5m high with an entrance from SE. <1>

Fieldwork and research on this site was carried out by Historic Assynt, as part of a Scotland's Rural Past project.
It was first recorded in 1638 with a single tenant and had grown to six households by the 1811 census. The following year five families from other townships were cleared to Loch Beannach, which was itself cleared in 1821 and the land incorporated into a sheep farm tenanted by George Gunn. Home’s survey of 1774 shows five buildings within an area of arable and several detached shielings none of which is at a significantly higher altitude than the township. The 1st edition of the OS 6 inch map shows the township remains consisting of seven unroofed buildings, one significantly larger than the others, three enclosures and two stretches of wall. The current OS 1:10,000 shows some 19 unroofed features, but it is unclear whether some of these are buildings or enclosures.
Within the head dyke are a total of four farmsteads each comprising a byrehouse, barn, outbuilding and enclosure, all of which were surveyed. <2>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 1495 2636 (450m by 529m) Approximate extent
Map sheet NC12NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Investigations/Events (3)

External Links (1)

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