MHG1375 - Shell Midden, Shelley Hill


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • SHELL MIDDEN (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Shelley Hill (NAT) Shell Mound (NR) (site of)
OS 6" map, (1970)

Name "Shelley Hill" applies to slight elevation opposite Castlehill, and from which name (at ND 1970 6845) was derived. On the summit of this small hill feature there originally stood a large mound which was supposed to be a "Pictish House", but on opening it with a view to removing it, it was found to be an ancient midden composed of building and sea shells. It is many years since this mound was removed, the shells being carted away to sea shore.
(The OSA {1794} and others consider that the name "Castlehill" is derived from the fact of a castle having stood in its vicinity, but the best-informed local inhabitants state that it derives from this mound of shells, which had the appearance of a castle on the summit of the little hill.)
Name Book 1873; OSA 1794.

No trace of this shell midden mound survives. Local information confirms the latter opinion given by Name Book for the origins of the name 'Castlehill'.
Visited by OS (J B) 22 December 1981.

Name Book (County), Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Book No. 7, 41 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG3394.

Sir John Sinclair (ed.), 1791-9, The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes, Vol. 12, (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2606.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 1953 6831 (14m by 14m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND16NE
Civil Parish OLRIG
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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