MHG2014 - Hut circle and Midden w finds, Ackergill


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • MIDDEN (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Hut Circle, Ackergill: This lies in a sandy hollow 50-60ft above high water mark and about a mile NW of Ackergill Tower. It is 12ft in diameter internally N-S and 10.5ft E-W with walls now 1.5ft high. The paved floor yielded two implements of iron, resembling punches.
To N is a large kitchen midden, but whether associated or of a different date is not known. Few relics were discovered.
Cree, who excavated the site, dates the hut circle to Early Iron Age - provided the iron implements have not worked down from the surface. RCAHMS 1911; J E Cree 1911.

A crutch-headed bone pin, 3 9/16ins long, from kitchen midden, was purchased for NMAS in 1939.
Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1939.

Despite an extensive search along sand dunes between Ackergill Tower (ND 352 546) and ND 343 559, no trace of the hut circle or kitchen midden was seen. Local enquiries proved negative.
Visited by OS (E G C) 22 April 1963.

ND 3463 5530. The overgrown remains of a structure of unknown period comprising a amound with walling, 10m E-W, 3.6m N-S and 0.52m high, lying on the upper dune surface. A wall about 24m long lies 20m S of the structure.
C E Batey 1981.

The hut circle excavated by Cree and structure described and planned by Batey are the same feature, located at ND 3460 5530 in a dune landscape. Some of the walling is still exposed but sand-blow has obscured details. The wall 24m long noted by Batey appears to be the E side of a barely discernible track. No kitchen midden can be identified.
Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 2 September 1982.

Bone pin is No. 906 in Sally Foster's thesis. <1>

Finds from the hut circle (according to Cree’s report) were animal bones, mollusc shells, a flint core, and iron implements. From the kitchen midden (behind the dwelling to the north) were found: bone pin (now in the NMS), animal bones and mollusc shells. Cree states that nothing else was found despite riddling. However, Caithness Horizons has medieval pottery from the site, said to have been discovered in 1916, suggesting further work may have been undertaken (ARC 786-9). <2>

The bone pin is listed under Acc. No. GA 1176 in the NMS catalogue. <3>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred ND 3460 5530 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND35NW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (5)

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • SHERD (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)
  • PIN (Early Iron Age to Early Medieval - 550 BC? to 1057 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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