MHG2435 - Wag Mor


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Type and Period (1)

  • WAG (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

ND03NE 2 0825 3680 and 0830 3677.

(ND 0825 3680; ND 0830 3676) Wags (NR) OS 6" map, (1962)

On the E side of the Raffin Burn, about 2 1/4 miles above its junction with the Dunbeath Water, and on a grassy slope beside a sheep stell, are the ruins of two or three galleried structures. The place is known as 'Wag Mor'. The structures are much ruined and their plans indistinct. That best preserved appears to have been an oblong building measuring some 47ft in length internally, divided by a cross wall at 20ft from the inner end. Its width seems to have been expanded to 8 or 9ft at the opposite extremity. The walls have been built of large flat slabs and the structures have been of the galleried type.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

The remains of two 'wags'. That at ND 0825 3680 now appears as an oval-shaped, mutilated area measuring 24m N-S by 17m transversely, practically cleared except in the SE where there is a considerable quantity of stone. There are several orthostats in position, and the remains of an outer wall can be seen. One or two roofing slabs, not in situ, can also be seen. The other, at ND 0830 3677, appears as a large mutilated earth and stone mound 1.4m high at the NE end. It measures 44m NE-SW, being 11.0m wide at the S end widening to 20m at the N end. At the S end of the mound are the remains of an oblong building formed by a stone wall 1.0m wide. It is 11m long and 5m broad. At N end of the mound are the remains of several rectangular buildings, one near the centre of the mound and extending right across it, is 15m long and 2.5m broad, and is built into the mound on its N side,
giving the wall a height of 0.7m. The NE corner of this building is covered by a large slab. The other buildings are formed by stone walls and abut each other.
Visited by OS (W D J) 30 June 1960.

On a gentle S-facing slope at 550ft OD is a settlement complex comprising two separate mounds, each of which contains at least one galleried structure.
At 'A' (ND 0825 3680) numerous large stones protrude through the turf capping; some are loose, others are earthfast and upright. These form no identifiable pattern except along the E side, where a discontinuous line of boulders defines an inner face some 8.4m long. At a distance of about 1.0m from the face, is a line of four orthostats, up to 0.9m high, which appear to be more or less in situ; the S orthostat has its lintel lying displaced against it. This is probably the remains of the E side of a rectangular 'wag' of unknown size, though the shape of the mound suggests one or more buried structures.
On 'B' (ND 0830 3676), a rectangular 'wag' 22.0m long and about 4.2m wide internally occupies the lower SW end of the mound. The oversailing inner face survives to a height of 1.0m in the NE; elsewhere it is reduced to a single course of stones or obscured by tumble. At least ten orthostats can be identified up to a height of 0.8m. The position of the entrance cannot now be determined. A later wall, probably early-modern, encroaches upon the NE part of the wag; other rectilnear features surmount the highest point on the mound, effectively obscuring details of an earlier structure of unknown shape and size which must have existed here.
Low, boulder-faced walls extend between mounds A and B, forming an enclosure. They are sunk into the peat and are of somewhat random construction; as such they are more likely to be contemporary with the 'wags' than with the early-modern phase.
Revised at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (N K B) 6 August 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, 70, No. 256 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 0824 3680 (80m by 80m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND03NE
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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