MHG20114 - Site of building at Achingale Bridge


The site of a 19th-century house, later adapted for use as a sheep pen, which has been demolished and built over.

Type and Period (3)

  • HOUSE (Built, 19th Century - 1801 AD? to 1872 AD)
  • PEN (In use, 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD? to 2008 AD)
  • SHEEP DIP (Constructed, 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD? to 2008 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

ND25SW 63 2442 5418

Structure (ND 2440 5419). Dimensions: 7.6 x 5m. Rectangular structure with an annexe at the W end. Orientation E-W.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

A roofed building is depicted on the first edition of the OS 6-inch map (Caithness 1877, sheet xviii) and on the current OS 1:10,000 map (1994).
Information from RCAHMS (FO) 26 March 1996

The 1877 1st edition Ordnance Survey map shows a roofed building in the middle of an improved field, aligned E-W with an annexe or porch attached centrally to the north. A path leads from the building west to the field edge and a well is marked just north of this path. The 1907 2nd edition OS map shows no change. The 1978 Pathfinder map shows the building as roofless.
The building was demolished in December 2008. It is described as having been dilapidated, partially roofed and adapted to contain pens and a sheep dip inserted into the floor in an internal doorway.
A watching brief took place in November 2008 during groundbreaking works for a new house on the site. A large quantity of Caithness sandstone fragments covered the site. Removal of the overlying rubble and soil exposed the footprint of the former building. The lowest courses of the outer walls were still evident as thin, broad slabs forming a wall base 0.6m in width. The building measured 11.65m in length and was divided by an internal partition to form one large room to the east, 7m long, and another to the west, 4m long, both with fireplaces. Evidence remained of a wood lining. The outline of the extension on the north face, shown on the 1877 OS map, was not identified - this may have been a relatively insubstantial, possibly wooden, porch or outhouse.
Further excavation revealed a large concrete trough, 3m long by 0.75m, presumably the sheep dip mentioned above, which was left in situ. A dark layer was noted below the floor deposit in the vicinity of the south outer wall of the former building. This may be the result of previous activity on the site, either an earlier byre or earier unrelated activity.
A large quantity of 19th and 20th-century finds were recovered, including ceramics, glass and iron objects. <1>

Photographs of the building were taken by the builders prior to its demolition. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 24419 54184 (15m by 8m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND25SW
Civil Parish WATTEN
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (1)

  • ASSEMBLAGE (19th Century to 20th Century - 1851 AD to 1933 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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