MHG1264 - The Wag


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Type and Period (1)

  • WAG (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

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Full Description

Wags (NR) OS 6" map, (1962)

Galleried Dwelling, 'The Wag', Achnaclyth: About 3/4 mile SE of Achnaclyth, on low ground by side of the Wag Burn, and adjoining a large sheepfold are the remains of three or four galleried houses bearing the name of 'The Wag'. They all appear to have been oblong on plan, with rounded ends. The best preserved, which lies E-W, measures some 34ft in length and 15ft in breadth. The entrance appears to have been through the S wall, 23ft from the W end. The thickness of the wall has been about 6ft 6ins. The pillars, several of which remain in situ, have been placed at from 3ft to 3ft 9ins from the side walls, and at distances of from 4 ft 9ins and 6ft from each other in the rows. The space in the centre between the rows of pillars measures 5ft 8ins across. Ony two of the covering stones remain in position, one on each side. That on the N is 6ft in length and 2ft 8ins in breadth; that on the S, 5ft 9ins long and 2ft 6ins broad. They are both c8ins thick. The greatest height of wall remaining exposed is 3ft, and the highest pillar measures 2ft 8ins above ground. Outside, as also at E end, there are indefinite remains of building. The walls, as usual in these structures, are built of large, flat stones, carefully laid.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

ND 1063 3308. Generally as described by RCAHMS. There would appear to be three 'wags', two abutting nearest the sheepfolds; the middle one of three is best preserved and is as described above. There are the indefinite remains of possible buildings at E end of group. The third one is indistinct and consists of a mound some 1.4m high and measuring 20 by 9m over all; a large quantity of stone lies over site, the whole being in a very dilapidated state.
Within an area of pasture associated with a now-deserted crofting settlement, are two adjacent homesteads contained within separate mounds of debris, to which some later stone clearance has been added.
The SW mound contains two aisled rectangular houses (A and B). House 'A' is as described by RCAHMS; 'B' is less well defined, but a single pillar stone and two stretches of inner wall-face are exposed. Its dimensions cannot be ascertained. Immediately to the E of 'A' is a mass of debris which may obscure a further structure, and E of 'B' are four probable pillar stones protruding through the mound, which may represent remains of a further aisled house
The NE mound (C) measures 22m E-W by 8.5m transversely and 0.6m high, and contains fragments of an aisled rectangular house. There is much slab-stone in evidence, and towards the E end, which has been quarried, is an upright in situ, 0.7m high. The only other structural detail visible is a length of outer wall face near W end of the mound. Dimensions of the house are not recoverable.
Revised at 1:10560. Visited by OS (N K B) 22 December 1982.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 70, No. 257; illust (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 1063 3308 (63m by 48m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND13SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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