MHG1914 - Hut Circle Settlement, Forse House


Site of hut circle settlement consisting of c.5 hut circles, enclosures and a substantial field system.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A group of hut circles about 1/2 mile SW of Forse House. One, some 50 yds W of the wall of a decayed plantation, has an ill-defined, grass-covered wall about 6 1/2 ft thick and 35 ft in daimeter over all. The entrance has been in the E, where one portal stone just protrudes from the turf. Three hut circles lie close together some 200 yds to the NW. The central, and highest, one has a stony bank, 26ft in internal diameter with an entrance of indeterminate width in the SE. In front of this circle is a circular enclosure, marked by a line of huge slabs and boulders, some 40 yds in diameter. The S circle of this group of three is extremely dilapidated. In the centre is a circular hollow, 8ft in diameter and 2 1/2ft deep, apparentely 'built up' (revetted ?) at the back. The E hut circle is almost contiguous with the central one. It has an internal diameter of 19ft, but its wall thickness is indeterminate. The entrancce, in the SE, is 2 3/4ft wide. Another ruined hut circle lies about 100 yds W of the last. It has an internal diameter of 24ft, a wall thickness of 6ft, and an entrance in the SE. Some 30ft NE, and connected by a line of large boulders, is another small circle formed in the arc of a large circular enclosure defined by boulders and slabs set upright. In connection with these circles are various curving lines of great slabs and boulders set on end forming the boundaries of enclosures.
RCAHMS 1911.

Cairns (NR) OS 6" map, (1959)

Centred ND 205 348 at between 300 and 400ft OD, is a settlement of fifteen hut circles and an associated field system.
Hut circles A - E are described by the RCAHMS. The small 'circle' 30ft NE of 'E' is a curved part of field wall, not a hut circle. The remaining hut circles are of similar construction to those described, varying in size from 8 -12m in diameter with entrances, where apparent, in the SE.
Besides the hut circles there are two small oval enclosures formed by low, stony banks. One, at ND 2022 3484, measures approximately 5 by 6.5m, while the other, at ND 2023 3470, measures approximately 8 by 6m, both possibly being hut sites.
The field system, defined by substantial field walls, most prominent in its centre, lynchets, and a few stone clearance heaps, is rather complex, being a mixture of different periods of cultivation.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (R L) 13 March 1968

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, 65-6, Nos. 243-5 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 2050 3481 (623m by 907m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND23SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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