MHG1631 - Aisled Building, Wagmore Rigg


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Type and Period (2)

  • AISLED BUILDING (Early Iron Age - 550 BC to 1 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) WAG (Early Iron Age - 550 BC to 1 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Wheel-houses (NR) OS 6"map, (1963).

At E end of Wagmore Rigg, some 3/4 mile W of the houses at Wag and occupying the summit of a slight elevation are the ruins of a circular galleried structure consisting of two conjoined circles lying N and S of each other with separate entrances. The southernmost circle is enclosed by a wall of large stones, now some 2ft in height and 4ft 4ins in thickness, which on the outside appears to have been banked up with soil. The entrance is from E by S through a passage 6ft in length, 2ft 6ins in width at the exterior and 3ft 10ins at the inner end. At 4ft from the outside a rebate of some 9ins on either side forms checks for a door. Internally, the circle has a diameter of 29ft. At 3ft inwards from the face of the wall occur, at intervals of from 6 to 8ft, upright stones, standing to a height of some 3ft above the present level, set edge on to the centre of the circle. Reaching from the wall to these upright pillars have been placed large slabs some 6ft in length, 2ft 3ins greatest breadth, and some 7ins in thickness. Three of these slabs still remain in situ, and many others lie displaced within the enclosure. The diameter of the area between opposite pillars is 17ft. The other (N) circle has been similar but measures only 19 to 20ft in internal diameter; most of the slabs have been removed from it, but enough remain to show that the plan has been the same. The diameter between opposite pillar is about 13ft. The entrance has also been from E by S. In front of the entrance are foundations of other, probably secondary, structures.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

The remains of these two aisled-houses are as described by RCAHMS. A course of stones outlines a rectangular feature measuring 4.8 by 2.7m, lying close to the larger aisled-house on its S segment. A considerable amount of stone lies on S slopes of the small mound on which the houses are situated, but nothing could be deduced from them. Another course of stones enclosed the entrances to the houses on the SE.
Visited by OS(WDJ) 9 June 1960.

A homestead comprising two conjoined aisled round-houses or 'wags' - not wheelhouses - apparently unchanged since the visit by RCAHMS. SW house is particularly well-preserved, but only the NW arc of other is exposed, remainder having been buried under tumble which extends down a slope to SE. It is not clear from surface inspection whether plan of NE dwelling was circular or subrectangular. The rectangular feature to SW of complex noted by OS surveyor (WDJ) is constructed of a single line of stones now partially disarranged and turf-covered; the mode of construction is dissimilar to the homestead and is probably a secondary structure. The course of stones which encloses the entrances to the houses on the SE, as described by OS surveyor (WDJ), is also probably secondary.
Visited by OS (NKB) 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, No.248; Pl.19 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 0030 2614 (80m by 80m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND02NW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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