MHG26621 - Hut Circle - Loch Vatachan (Loch Vatachan West 1)


A hut Circle near Loch Vatachan, Achiltibuie.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

One of four hut Circles near Loch Vatachan, Achiltibuie. Originally surveyed by RCAHMS in 1994 (ACHIL94 457).

On the heather-and-grass covered E-facing slopes overlooking the N end of Loch Vatachan there are four hut-circles standing amidst the remains of a field-system consisting of scatters of small cairns and stretches of bank. The most southerly hut-circle (ACHIL94 454; NC 0129 1138) stands on a gentle ESE-facing slope. It measures 8m in diameter within a wall 1m thick and 0.3m high. Occasional inner and outer facing-stones survive and the wall thickens slightly at the entrance, which is on the SE. The other three hut-circles are located on steeper slopes, and they are all levelled into the hillside along their rear edge and built up at the front; all three are also oval in plan, with the longer axis running parallel to the contour. The first of these huts is situated about 120m NNW of the first hut-circle, at NC 0125 1150 (ACHIL94 455). It measures 6.5m N-S by 5.9m transversely within a stony bank 0.3m high and spread to a thickness of 1m. The entrance is on the N. About 90m to the NW there is a hut-circle measuring 9.4m N-S by 7.9m E-W within a stony bank 0.5m high which has spread to 1.3m in thickness (ACHIL94 456; NC 0119 1157). The final hut is 240m farther N at NC 0121 1181 (ACHIL94 457). It measures 7m NNW-SSE by 6.2m transversely within a massive wall in which edge-set inner and outer facing-stones survive, giving a thickness of 1.6m. The entrance may have been on the SE. Around these hut-circles, in an area measuring about 500m N-S by 150m E-W there are a number of stony banks and lynchets which appear to have formed a series of subrectangular fields. Within these there are scatters of small cairns, about 35 in all, concentrated particularly at the S end of the area, between hut-circles ACHIL94 454 and ACHIL94 455.
(ACHIL94 454-7) Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) 10 August 1994

201216 911802 Loch Vatachan West 1 AW403 (ACHIL94 457): The hut circle was visited by A Welti and C MacNeilage in 2010 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross. This was part of a degree course overseen by Aberdeen University. There are 4 HC's in this group and 8 more along and around the 50m contour listed under Badentarbat. The heather has encroached since 1994 making it difficult to discern features such as field walls and clearance cairns. The sites all have a panoramic view westward to the Assynt mountains. The linear cluster of 4 HCs is situated above a low lying neck of land above Loch Vatichan and Loch Raa, between Achnahaird Bay and Badentarbat Bay. AW403 is a circular stone structure, sitting on a steep east facing slope, 15m to south of a spring, marked by a small platform dug into the slope and a damp green flush (see photo). 20m to SW is an area of bracken vegetation, indicating land improvement at some time. The platfrom is dug into and built out from the slope. Average inner diameter of the structure is 6.4m, outer diameter 10.5m. The double skinned wall has thickness 2m and maximum height 0.6m, and is built of massive boulders, some of which are visible at the entrance, (see sketch). Other stones are submerged by heather and bracken. The entrance faces east with external width 1.3m, internal width 1.0m and passage length 2.5m, indicating extended terminals. AW403 may be associated with AW404 (see MHG) (distant 240m), EGM001 (see MHG) (280m distant) and EGM002 (see MHG) (320m distant). <1> <2>

NGR adjusted to position as seen on 2009 vertical APs. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 0121 1181 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC01SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish LOCHBROOM

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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