MHG1983 - Shielings, Toftranald


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

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

On slopes of moorland, and stretching back from top of steep bank which has in former times been margin of a lake, are various grassy mounds of low elevation and irregular surface. One of these beside bank has a diameter of c35' and appears to be remains of a turf structure. About 100 yds ENE is another with a diameter of 45' and an elevation of 3' to 4'. Some 30 yds to S is a third, with a slight circlar depression in centre, measuring over all 40' by 38'. The true nature of these remains is not obvious.
RCAHMS 1959.

Five grass-grown mounds (A to E) on a peat and heather-covered W-facing slope. All are irregular in shape and profile and all revealed a stony content on probing.
'A', on the brink of a drained loch, measures c. 10m in diameter and 1m high. Several flat stones no intelligible pattern protrude through the mutilated top.
'B', adjacent to 'A', is 5m diameter by 0.5m high.
'C', roughly oval, measures c. 13m NE-SW by 9m transversely and 0.8m high. It has its top hollowed.
'D', measures c. 27m E-W by 9m transversely and is 0.7m high.
'E', is 23m N-S by 19m transversely and is 1m high.
'D' and 'E' occur within a turf-walled enclosure c. 43m square, about 20m E of which lie the scant footings of a probably contemporary rectangular stone-walled building measuring 11m N-S by 5m transversely. Another ill-defined turf bank runs past W side of this building and curves SW towards edge of drained loch.
About 230m N of mound 'E' is a circular grass-grown area c. 8.5m in diameter, slightly hollowed, with some stones protruding, and with an upright slab protruding through the turf on its SE edge. Its date and classification are uncertain (see MHG56452).
Some 90m NE of this, beside a stream, are two small grassy patches showing some stone.
It cannot be established if mounds are comtemporary with the rectangular building and enclosure, but they may be the stances for shieling bothies - a common feature in Caithness.
A similar mound lies about 450.0m SE (See ND26NE 4).
Visited by OS (A A) 17 March 1972.

(ND 2815 6821) Old Shielings (NAT) OS 1:10,000 map, (1975).

This site is generally as described by previous field investigator. 'D', which is compartmented, appears to be remains of a longhouse, and 'E', apparent as a turf-covered mound, bears slight impressions of at least four shieling footings. The circular feature '230m N of 'E'' has remnants of a stone wall around the periphery; it would seem to be associated with features to S. The features 'some 90m NE' are structurally incomprehensible. The main group of features would seem to be remains of a shieling site with the two rectangular footings and turf-walled enclosure suggesting a more permanent occupation, possibly at a later date.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (J B) 5 May 1982.

These features were visited by SUAT in 2004 during a walkover survey in advance of a proposed windfarm development. They were found to be pretty much as described by the OS and were all covered in grass and/or heather. The area around them to the north and south had been ploughed for forestry and seedings or saplings had been planted. <1>

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, 19-20, No. 51 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

<1> Perry, D., 2004, Archaeological Component: Proposed Wind Farm at Schoolary, Caithness, Highland, 11.45 Site 1 (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG22261.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 2819 6823 (140m by 117m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND26NE
Civil Parish BOWER
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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