MHG12804 - Hut Circles and Henge with Cremations - Achinduich


No summary available.

Type and Period (4)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Undated)
  • HENGE (Early Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 2400 BC to 1 AD)
  • CREMATION (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

(A: NC 5826 0092) Hut circle (NR). (NC 582 010) Field System (NR).
OS 1:10,000 map, (1970)

A hut circle (A) and an associated field system were found during ground investigation.
Visited by OS (R D L) 25 June 1963.

Centred at NC 582 009, on a west-facing hill slope in open moorland, is a settlement of six stone-walled hut circles (A-F) within an associated field system, five additional huts having been found. The huts are set into the slope and survive mainly as oval platforms, the walls being much reduced, and obscured by peat and heather, so that little structural detail is visible. The entrance gaps where discernible occur in the south arc on the longer axis. Huts A-D appear similar varying in internal size from 11.5m N-S by 10.5m E-W to 15.0m N-S by 13.0m E-W. 'A' is the best-preserved with a wall, 1.0m high, tumbled and spread to 2.5m broad. 'E' and 'F' are smaller, measuring internally 8.0m N-S by 7.0m E-W and 6.5m N-S by 5.5m E-W respectively within walls of indeterminate width. The entrance to 'E' is mutilated and widened to 4.0m. A lynchet extends southwards from the east side of the entrance to hut F.
The field system, occupying six hectares, is well-preserved, and comprises lynchets, linear clearance and stone clearance heaps, which define a number of measurable cultivation plots, varying from 45.0m by 20.0m to 15.0m by 10.0m, which are terraced into the hillside. Narrow rig encroaches on the system on the SW side.
Surveyed at 1:10 000.
Visited by OS (J M) 22 July 1976.

NC 5820 0107 Survey in 1988 identified two adjacent circular turf banks. One was almost certainly the penannular bank of a type of house that has been dated at Lairg to between 1800 and 1200 cal BC; the second was not so easily classified because no clear entrance could be identified. In the course of the roadworks associated with the upgrading of the A836, the sub-surface character of the first site was observed as it was removed by the road engineers. The second site was treated differently because of its nonconformity to the established classes of monuments. After stripping topsoil by machine, a rapid excavation was instituted which revealed a stone-filled, penannular ditch some 1.5m deep by up to 3m wide. This enclosed an area 8 x 6.5m, close to the centre of which were two burials. The first consisted of a shallow pit within which an inverted urn contained a well-preserved human cremation. The second burial consisted only of a fused mass of cremated human bone without a burial vessel. Access to the enclosed burial space was via a narrow causeway across the ditch. A single substantial post-hole at the outer limit of the causeway possibly indicates a gate at this point. The weathered state of the subsoil sub-surface within this putative gateway indicates that the access route had been frequently used. The monuments were later encircled by a substantial turf bank at which time the entrance was permanently closed.
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
AOC (Scotland) LTD 1996

A brief reference to the 1996 watching brief is made in the 1998 monograph of the Lairg Project. It is noted as site 204, a circular bank of a putative hut circle later identifed as a pennanular ditch, within which were cremations 8 and 9. As post-excavation work for this site was still underway at the time of writing, the site was to be published separately. This publication appeared several years later in McCullagh, R. 2011 ‘The excavation of a ditched enclosure at Achinduich Farm, Lairg, Sutherland’ in Bradley, R. Stages and Screens in which a full description of the site and work is given. This included analysis of the cremated human bone, the cordoned urn from pit 2 and 6 radiocarbon dates. These dates indicated that the enclosing bank of the henge monument and cremation burials were in use in the mid-second millenium BC and the entrance was possibly still in use in the later first millenium BC. <1> <2>

'Henge' and 'Cremation' site types have been added to this record along with sources for the work identifying these (<1> and <2>). A separate monument record may be needed for these monuments, but a link from this record (MHG12804) to any new record for the henge and cremations must be given as this monument record (MHG12804) is published for the henge site in Bradley's 'Stages and Screens' (<2>). GW 02/05/2020

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 5828 0101 (215m by 420m) (3 map features)
Map sheet NC50SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish CREICH

Finds (2)

  • CREMATION (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • URN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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