MHG1500 - Wag, Allt Preas Bhealaich


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Type and Period (1)

  • WAG (Late Iron Age to Early Medieval - 2 AD to 1057 AD)

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Full Description

Wags (NR) OS 6" map, (1963)

Galleried Dwellings, Morven: Situated on slightly rising ground in boggy surroundings on the E side of Morven, near its base, are the ruins of two constructions similar to ND02NW 1. They are much dilapidated, material from them doubtless having been used to build the nearby sheepfold. Much of the outer walls have been removed. They have been constructed on the same principle but not on the same plan. The upper of the two measures 86ft in greatest length by 46ft, and appears to have been either oval or pear-shaped with a gallery along NW, a small part of which remains standing.
The second ruin lies some 40ft S by E of other. At upper end is a circular enclosure with an internal diameter of 21ft. The pillar stones some 3ft in from the inner face remain in situ, but most of the covering slabs have been removed. Projecting from the outer side of the circle towards the ESE for a distance of some 54ft, of which the interior measures 48ft and the wall 6ft, is an oblong structure. Parallel with the N wall of this and 4ft within it is another wall some 3ft 6ins in thickness, between which and the wall on the S runs a gallery some 12ft wide. The row of pillar stones along either side of this gallery still remains in situ, but the flags which rested on them lie dislodged. Both ruins are in a very confused state and the plans are impossible to determine without excavation.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

The remains of these two apparent 'wags' are as described by the RCAHMS. Both are in a very ruinous condition and only a general outline of their plans can be surveyed. Published as the site of a cairn on OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1908), they were doubtless mis-identified as such at the time of survey.
Visited by OS (W D J) 9 June 1960.

There are two separate homesteads or 'wags' (A and B) some 15m apart, each comprising at least two aisled dwellings of similar construction to those at Wagmore (ND02NW 1), though of different plan.
The upper example (A) has been severely robbed, particularly on the SW side, nearest the sheepfold, and in the NE half, tumble obscures all details. No wall faces are exposed, but on the N side are nine uprights of which four retain their lintels; these uprights form two rows aligned NE-SW, indicating a rectangular aisled-house about 5.0 m internal width and perhaps 13.5m external length. Both NE and SW ends, where presumably the dwelling was entered, are very vague; the wall where it survives is about 2.0m wide and 0.6m maximum height. There are a number of lintel slabs lying about which probably obscure further uprights. Contiguous to the dwelling to the SE and parallel with it is a further building, so reduced that its size is indeterminate. All that survives are two lines of three uprights, 1.8m apart, and one or two displaced lintel slabs. The lower homestead (B) is well preserved. It is keyhole shaped in plan, comprising a round aisled-house and a sub-rectangular one. The entrance to each element is in the SW, and there is an interconnecting passage. Around the NE side, the SE end, and possibly the SW side of the sub-rectangular structure is what appears to be an outer retaining wall.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (N K B) 25 October 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, 67-8, No. 249 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 0130 2740 (80m by 80m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND02NW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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