MHG1564 - Hut Circle, Loch Shurrery


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Mound (NR) OS 6"map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

On E side of road some 200 yards N of N end of Loch Shurrery is a circular construction surrounded by a stone wall some 6ft in thickness. The entrance appears to have been from the SE. The internal diameter is about 26 ft. Opening out of the main enclosure towards the W and NW have been small circular enclosures of indefinite diameter. The whole structure is much overgrown.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

A circular enclosure, 8m in internal diameter and 20m overall. It has been systematically excavated and part of a paved floor has been exposed. The grassy outer bank, where exposed, is composed of small stones. The maximum height is 1m. Three breaks in the enclosing bank are probable excavation trenches.
Visited by OS (E G C) 10 April 1961.

Excavations October 1955 revealed a circular hut some 26ft in internal diameter, surrounded by a wall 8-10ft thick, with a single entrance from SW. The wall was set on a rubble foundation and consisted of inner and outer facings of heavy stones and a core of earth and stone. The entrance was 4ft wide, and the side walls narrowed to form projecting door jambs on either side with, between them, a long thin threshold slab. The entrance and interior of hut showed remains of a paved floor. A rectangular hearth, 3ft by 2ft, was situated slightly off centre, and near it was a post socket, some 15ins square and 10ins deep, lined with stones with a flat stone at the bottom. From the hearth came a sherd of coarse ware and from near it a saddle quern; in the tumble of the wall was found a cup-marked stone, and the entrance yielded two further sherds lying on the paved flooring.
A MacLaren 1955.

(ND 0432 5679) Hut Circle (NR) OS 6"map, (1963)

A round house, situated on the valley floor close to Loch Shurrery, is generally as described by MacLaren, but turf accumulation has obscured some of details. The remains exposed in excavation are typical of a hut circle, but around NW arc the width of tumble is about 6m, suggesting an unusually massive construction in this quarter, or possibly further subsidiary structures as yet unexcavated, and for this reason the term round house or possibly homestead is preferred. There is no evidence of associated cultivation. According to keeper at Shurrery Lodge, site was excavated in advance of construction of a dam which it was thought would cause the site to be submerged; this threat has now receded. There is no local knowledge of the present location of the finds.
Revised at 1:10560. Visited by OS (N K B) 15 November 1981.

Two samples obtained during the 1955 excavations were submitted for radiocarbon dating. These produced Iron Age dates of 187-91 BC and 183-77 BC, calibrated to 1 sigma. See link below to published 2003 report. <1>

See also link below to Scottish Radiocarbon database for radiocarbon dates.

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 0432 5679 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND05NW
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (2)

  • QUERN (Undated)
  • SHERD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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